In the mammalian cardiovascular system, nitric oxide (NO), a small diffusible gaseous signal mediator, plays pivotal roles in the maintenance of vascular homeostasis. The endothelial isoform of nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) is activated by diverse agonist-modulated cell surface receptors, and eNOS-derived NO is a key determinant of blood pressure, platelet activation, angiogenesis and other fundamental responses in the vascular wall. Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) has recently been identified as an important activator of eNOS. This review summarizes the roles of sphingosine 1-phosphate and S1P receptors in eNOS activation, and analyzes the eNOS regulatory processes evoked by S1P. The implications of S1P activation of eNOS in cardiovascular (patho)physiology will be also discussed.