Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) have been used in clinical trials to treat ischemic heart disease. Monocyte infiltration plays an important role in inflammation, angiogenesis, and tissue repair during tissue ischemia. It is important to understand the interactions between EPCs and monocytes. In this study, a human EPC/THP-1 monocytic cell coculture system was used to examine EPC effect on IL-1 a , IL-1 ß , and TNF- a expression in THP-1 cells. Late, but not early, EPCs upregulated IL-1 ß expression at both mRNA and protein levels. In contrast, neither early nor late EPCs affected IL-1 a or TNF- a expression. Coculture with human umbilical vein endothelial cells did not alter IL-1 ß expression. It has been shown that activation of integrin ß 2 in human neutrophils augments IL-1 ß synthesis; however integrin ß 2 was not involved in IL-1 ß expression in THP-1 cells. Addition of late EPC conditioned medium to THP-1 cell culture led to a modest increase of IL-1 ß mRNA levels, indicating that late EPCs upregulate IL-1 ß expression partly through a paracrine pathway. IL-1 ß , an important inflammation mediator, has been shown to promote EPC function. Our data therefore suggest that late EPCs can exert self-enhancement effects by interacting with monocytes and that EPCs might modulate inflammatory reactions by regulating IL-1 ß expression in monocytes.