An amiloride binding protein in adult rat and rabbit alveolar type II (ATII) cells was characterized using three different antibodies against epithelial Na+ channel proteins. We found that 1) polyclonal antibodies raised against epithelial Na+ channel proteins from bovine kidney cross- react with a 135-kDa protein in ATII membrane vesicles on Western blots; 2) using the photoreactive amiloride analog, 2'-methoxy-5'-nitrobenzamil (NMBA), in combination with anti-amiloride antibodies, we found that NMBA specifically labeled the same M(r) protein; and 3) monoclonal anti-idiotypic antibodies directed against anti-amiloride antibodies also recognized this same M(r) protein on Western blots. We also demonstrated a low benzamil affinity binding site (apparent K(d) = 370 nM) in rabbit ATII cell membranes and both high and low benzamil affinity binding sites (apparent K(d) = 6 nM and 230 nM) in bovine kidney membranes using [3H]Br-benzamil as a ligand. Pharmacological inhibitory profiles for displacing bound [3H]Br-benzamil were also different between ATII cells and bovine kidneys. These observations indicate that adult ATII pneumocytes express a population of epithelial Na+ channels having a low affinity to benzamil and amiloride and a pharmacological inhibitory profile different from that in bovine kidney.