The potassium channel blocker, 4-aminopyridine (4-AP), stimulates neurotransmitter release via plasma membrane depolarization and subsequent activation of voltage-gated calcium channels. The present study assessed the effects of 4-AP on intracellular calcium levels in the human neuroblastoma cell line CHP-100. Blockade of K+ channels with 4-AP significantly increased intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i). This increase occurred via activation of plasma membrane Ca2+ channels. The 4-AP induced rise in [Ca2+]i was not inhibited by the L-type Ca2+ channel blocker nifedipine but was sensitive to the N-type Ca2+ channel blocker omega-contotoxin GVIA. Tetrodotoxin did not alter the effect of 4-AP. These results suggest that in CHP-100 cells, following inhibition of K+ channels by 4-AP, N-type Ca2+ channels are activated.