KA-672.HCl (KA-672) is a new substance demonstrating anti-dementia properties. It shows modulatory effects on several neurotransmitter systems known to be affected in patients with Alzheimer's disease. In this study the action of KA-672 on the NMDA receptors was examined by applying patch clamp techniques to acutely isolated hippocampal neurons. KA-672 antagonizes NMDA responses in a voltage-dependent manner. At a holding potential of -90 mV the IC50 value for the blocking action of KA-672 was 20+/-7 microM. This action of KA-672 is independent on the concentration either of agonist or coagonist of NMDA receptor. Ketamine, which interacts with the PCP center, does not occlude the action of KA-672. Evidently, KA-672.HCl is a weak NMDA receptor-operated channel blocker. This property may account for its pharmacological profile.