Avenanthramides are phenolic antioxidants, which are present in oats. Avenanthramides A, B, and C are the major constituents of the total soluble antioxidant phenolic compounds in oats. We tested the potential antiatherogenic activity of partially purified avenanthramides from oats by examining their effects on adhesion of monocytes to human aortic endothelial cell (HAEC) monolayers, expression of adhesion molecules, and production of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines by HAEC. The oat avenanthramides mixture was prepared and partially purified by column chromatography. This avenanthramide-enriched mixture (AEM) had no toxicity to HAEC as tested up to 40 ng/ml. The pre-incubation of HAEC with 4, 20, and 40ng/ml AEM for 24h significantly decreased adhesion of U937 monocytic cells to interleukin (IL)-1beta-stimulated HAEC in a concentration-dependent manner. Pre-incubation of HAEC with AEM at 20 and 40 microg/ml, but not at 4 microg/ml, for 24h significantly suppressed IL-1beta-stimulated expressions of intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and E-selectin and the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines IL-6, chemokines IL-8 and monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1. These data provide evidence for the potential anti-inflammatory and antiatherogenic effects of antioxidant avenanthramides present in oats.