The excitatory amino acid transporter EAAT4 is expressed predominantly in Purkinje neurons in the rat cerebellum (1-3), and it participates in postsynaptic re-uptake of glutamate released at the climbing fiber synapse (4). Transporter-mediated currents in Purkinje neurons are increased more than 3-fold by arachidonic acid, a second messenger that is liberated following depolarization-induced Ca2+ activation of phospholipase A2 (5). In this study we demonstrate that application of arachidonic acid to oocytes expressing rat EAAT4 increased glutamate-induced currents to a similar extent. However, arachidonic acid did not cause an increase in the rate of glutamate transport or in the chloride current associated with glutamate transport but rather activated a proton-selective conductance. These data reveal a novel action of arachidonate on a glutamate transporter and suggest a mechanism by which synaptic activity may decrease intracellular pH in neurons where this transporter is localized.