The transport of radioactive sodium in high sodium cat red blood cells has been studied under various experimental conditions. It was found that iodoacetate (IAA) and iodoacetamide (IAM) inhibit Na influx by 50% whereas NaF has no effect. Reversible dyes, such as methylene blue (Mb), also inhibit this influx by 60%. Both IAA and Mb effects show a lag period of about 40 min. Cell starvation abolishes the volume-dependent Na influx which is generally observed in these cells. IAA reduces significantly the volume-dependent Na influx but does not inhibit it completely. 5 mM magnesium chloride produces a twofold increase in Na influx. On the other hand, MgCl(2) has no effect on Na transport in human red cells or on potassium or sulfate transport in cat red cells. The effect of MgCl(2) is quite rapid and does not interfere with the volume-dependent Na influx. This effect is abolished in starved cells. Reincubation of previously stored cells in buffered solutions containing glucose and MgCl(2) causes more than one order of magnitude increase in Na influx. These several observations are discussed in terms of the possibility of a link between Na transport and Na-Mg-activated ATPase.