Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) play an important role in preventing atherosclerosis. The factors that regulate the function of EPCs are not completely clear. Increased formation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) is generally regarded as one of the main mechanisms responsible for vascular damage in patients with diabetes and atherosclerosis. AGEs lead to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and part of the regenerative capacity of EPCs seems to be due to their low baseline ROS levels and reduced sensitivity to ROS-induced cell apoptosis. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that AGEs can alter functions and promote apoptosis in EPCs through overpress cell oxidant stress. EPCs, isolated from bone marrow, were cultured in the absence or presence of AGEs (50, 100, and 200 microg/ml). A modified Boyden's chamber was used to assess the migration of EPCs and the number of recultured EPCs was counted to measure the adhesiveness function. MTT assay was used to determine the proliferation function. ROS were analyzed using the ROS assay kit. A spectrophotometer was used to assess superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-PX) activity, and PCR was used to test mRNA expression of SOD and GSH-PX. SiRNA was used to block receptor for advanced glycation endproducts (RAGEs) expression. Apoptosis was evaluated by Annexin V immunostaining and TUNEL staining. Co-culturing with AGEs increases ROS production, decreases anti-oxidant defenses, overpresses oxidant stress, inhibits the proliferation, migration, and adhesion of EPCs, and induces EPCs apoptosis. In addition, these effects were attenuated during block RAGE protein expression by siRNA. AGEs may serve to impair EPCs functions through RAGE-mediate oxidant stress, and promote EPCs sensitivity toward oxidative-stress-mediated apoptosis, which indicates a new pathophysiological mechanism of disturbed vascular adaptation in atherosclerosis and suggests that lower levels of AGEs might improve the success of progenitor cell therapy.