Angiogenesis is a crucial event in the progression of diabetic retinopathy. Migration and proliferation of endothelial cells (EC) are important steps in angiogenesis and are caused by angiogenic factors such as basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). In this work, capillary EC were isolated from rabbit retinal tissues and rabbit retinal EC (RREC) were found to secrete a migration factor for RREC in conditioned medium (CM). The activity was inhibited by an anti-platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) antibody, but not by an anti-bFGF antibody. We also found that RREC showed a migratory response to PDGF. The response was induced by PDGF-BB and PDGF-AB dose dependently, but not by PDGF-AA, indicating that it was mediated by PDGF-beta receptor-dependent pathways, and that the PDGF-like factor was PDGF-BB or -AB. In addition, PDGF-BB induced the proliferation of RREC as well as bFGF. These data indicate that RREC have an autocrine pathway of PDGF by the secretion of and the response to PDGF. PDGF may play significant parts in angiogenesis in the progression of diabetic retinopathy.