By in vitro studies 7,8-dihydroneopterin, which is secreted by macrophages stimulated by interferon-gamma, was reported to be a radical scavenger as well as a prooxidative agent depending on the experimental settings. In this study, we investigated the interference of 7,8-dihydroneopterin with peroxynitrite mediated reactions by different analytical procedures. Luminol chemiluminescence and oxidation of the spin probe 1-hydroxy-2,2,6,6-tetramethyl-4-oxo-piperidine induced by peroxynitrite were inhibited by 7,8-dihydroneopterin. On the other hand, we found that 7,8-dihydroneopterin very efficiently inhibits nitration of tyrosine by peroxynitrite. Hydroxylation, however, was rather enhanced than inhibited, suggesting that 7,8-dihydroneopterin reacts in quite different manner with the intermediates generated from peroxynitrite. We provide the first evidence that a pterin radical is formed from a dihydropterin using EPR spectroscopy and 2,2,4-trimethyl-2H-imidazole-1-oxide as a spin trap. We conclude that 7,8-dihydroneopterin while being a weak scavenger of superoxide acts as a very efficient inhibitor of tyrosine nitration induced by peroxynitrite.