BACKGROUND: Inflammation, where vascular endothelial cells are activated by cytokines, recruits circulating leukocytes such as neutrophils into the tissues. Mononuclear phagocytes as well as tissue cells activated by these stimuli produce these chemokines. In this study, the effects of IL-1 and LPS on the expression of CXC chemokines such as GRO-alpha, IL-8 and ENA-78 in vascular endothelial cells and the neutrophil adnesion effects of ENA-78 and GRO-alpha was investigated. METHODS: Human umbilical vein endothelial cells were cultured and stimulated with various concentrations of IL-1 and LPS. The concentrations of the GRO-alpha, IL-8 and ENA-78 secreted were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The effects of ENA-78 and GRO-alpha on neutrophil adhesion to the endothelial cells were also investigated. RESULTS: The addition of IL-1 and LPS to the vascular endothelial cells induced GRO-alpha, IL-8 and ENA-78 secretion in a time- and dose-dependent manner. The neutrophil adhesion was also increased by induction of ENA-78 and GRO-alpha to the vascular endothelial cells in a dose-dependent manner. CONCLUSION: CXC chemokines such as GRO-alpha, IL-8 and ENA-78 secreted by the vascular endothelial cells play an important role in the acute inflammatory responses by stimulating neutrophil adhesion to the vascular endothelial cells, raising the possibility that the CXC chemokines are one of the targets in the clinical application of acute inflammation.