The effects of dihydropyridine Ca2+ channel blockers (DHP) and ACE inhibitors on superoxide formation and nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability were compared in human EA.Hy926 endothelial cells (EC). EC were stimulated 4 h with angiotensin II (Ang II, 10 nM) +/- study drugs. Specific superoxide formation was measured by lucigenin-enhanced chemiluminescence, reduction of cytochrome c and rhodamine-123 fluorescence. Free NO release was determined with an amperometric NO sensor. NADPH oxidase subunits expression was examined with Western Blot. In untreated EC the intracellular superoxide is -64.3 +/- 6.0% decreased compared to Ang II stimulated EC. Elevated extracellular superoxide formation was on a -43.0 +/- 1.7% lower level in untreated EC. The DHP Ca2+-channel agonist BayK8644 and ACE inhibitors captopril and ramiprilat led extracellular superoxide concentration to control level. Enalaprilat blocked extracellular superoxide, the DHP amlodipine and nisoldipine prevented intracellular increases only (n = 8-9, p < 0.05). Icatibant (HOE 140), a kinin-B2 receptor antagonist, attenuated antioxidant actions of all tested agents except of nisoldipine. Ang II-induced superoxide was elevated by the phorbolester PMA and blocked by the protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor chelerythrine. Suppression of substance P-evoked NO release by Ang II (>70%, n = 6) was reversed by the PKC inhibitor chelerythrine, the DHP amlodipine and nisoldipine and the ACE inhibitor ramiprilat. Further, Ang II reduces Nox-4 expression by 34.5 +/- 4.9. Nox-2 expression was not regulated. DHP and ACE inhibitors exert different antioxidant effects in human EC stimulated with Ang II, but both improve NO bioavailability via bradykinin and modulation of redox-regulating enzymes.