The mechanisms responsible for the abnormalities in the vascular wall associated with long standing diabetes mellitus are incompletely understood. The aim of this investigation was to assess the effects of angiotensin II and high glucose on the production of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) in human endothelial cells. For this purpose, a primary culture was obtained from fresh human umbilical cords by collagenase digestion of the vein interior. A high glucose medium increased the production of PDGF and a similar effect was observed by the addition of mannitol. These data are consistent with a stimulatory effect of glucose on PDGF that is mediated by the osmotic effect of this substance. Angiotensin II significantly increased PDGF in human endothelial cells and the effect was accompanied by a transient increase in cytosolic calcium. The angiotensin II-induced intracellular Ca2+ increases, PDGF production were completely abolished by saralasin and neomycin, respectively. We postulate that the increased production of PDGF by the vascular endothelium in response to high glucose and angiotensin II may participate in the development of the diabetic angiopathy.