Omeprazole impairs vascular redox biology and causes xanthine oxidoreductase-mediated endothelial dysfunction

Redox Biol. 2016 Oct:9:134-143. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2016.08.001. Epub 2016 Aug 4.


Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are widely used drugs that may increase the cardiovascular risk by mechanisms not entirely known. While PPIs increase asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) levels and inhibit nitric oxide production, it is unknown whether impaired vascular redox biology resulting of increased xanthine oxidoreductase (XOR) activity mediates PPIs-induced endothelial dysfunction (ED). We examined whether increased XOR activity impairs vascular redox biology and causes ED in rats treated with omeprazole. We also examined whether omeprazole aggravates the ED found in hypertension. Treatment with omeprazole reduced endothelium-dependent aortic responses to acetylcholine without causing hypertension. However, omeprazole did not aggravate two-kidney, one-clip (2K1C) hypertension, nor hypertension-induced ED. Omeprazole and 2K1C increased vascular oxidative stress as assessed with dihydroethidium (DHE), which reacts with superoxide, and by the lucigenin chemiluminescence assay. The selective XOR inhibitor febuxostat blunted both effects induced by omeprazole. Treatment with omeprazole increased plasma ADMA concentrations, XOR activity and systemic markers of oxidative stress. Incubation of aortic rings with ADMA increased XOR activity, DHE fluorescence and lucigenin chemiluminescence signals, and febuxostat blunted these effects. Providing functional evidence that omeprazole causes ED by XOR-mediated mechanisms, we found that febuxostat blunted the ED caused by omeprazole treatment. This study shows that treatment with omeprazole impairs the vascular redox biology by XOR-mediated mechanisms leading to ED. While omeprazole did not further impair hypertension-induced ED, further studies in less severe animal models are warranted. Our findings may have major relevance, particularly to patients with cardiovascular diseases taking PPIs.

Keywords: Endothelial dysfunction; Omeprazole; Oxidative stress; Proton pump inhibitors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism*
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Hypertension / metabolism
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Omeprazole / pharmacology*
  • Oxidation-Reduction / drug effects*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Xanthine Dehydrogenase / blood
  • Xanthine Dehydrogenase / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Xanthine Dehydrogenase
  • Omeprazole