The effect of 2-[(2-dimethylaminobenzyl)sulfinyl]-1-(3-methylpyridine-2-yl)imidazole (T-330), on rat gastric H+/K+-ATPase was studied in vitro and in vivo in comparison with the irreversible proton pump inhibitor omeprazole. T-330 and omeprazole inhibited rat gastric H+/K+-ATPase at pH 6.1, and their IC50 values were 75 microM and 4.6 microM, respectively. Recovery from the T-330-inhibited H+K/+-AtPase activity was effected by beta-mercaptoethanol at concentrations above 10 microM, whereas significant recovery from the inhibition by omeprazole required 100 mM. When intraduodenally administered, T-330 (0.6-10 mg/kg) induced a more potent yet shorter-lasting inhibition of both gastric H+/K+ -ATPase activity and gastric acid secretion than did omeprazole (2.5-40 mg/kg). Recovery of the gastric H+/K+-ATPase activity depressed by omeprazole was completely blocked by an inhibitor of protein synthesis, cycloheximide, whereas that by T-330 was not prevented. This indicates that restoration of the enzyme activity after inhibition in vivo by T-330 does not require de novo synthesis of the enzyme in contrast to inhibition by omeprazole. beta-Mercaptoethanol (1 mM) fully restored the H+/K+-ATPase activity inhibited in vivo by T-330 but not by omeprazole. These observations indicate that T-330 reversibly inhibits gastric H+/K+-ATPase, resulting in a short-lasting antisecretory effect, and that the sulfhydryl groups of the enzyme are involved in the action of T-330.