Endothelial cells (ECs) under hemodynamic forces increase intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) that modulate gene expression. We previously showed that NO attenuated the shear flow-induced gene level. The present study explored the role of endothelial NO in cyclic strain-treated ECs. Treatment of ECs with S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP), an NO donor, reduced cyclic strain-induced monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-1 expression. Conversely, exposure of ECs to an NO synthase inhibitor augmented MCP-1 mRNA levels. NO attenuated the binding of activator protein-1 to the 12-O-tetradecanoylphobol-13-acetate-responsive element (TRE) in the MCP-1 promoter region. ECs overexpressed with endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) inhibited cyclic strain-induced MCP-1 expression and MCP-1 promoter (-540 bp) activity. Consistently, ECs treated with SNAP or infected with adenovirus carrying eNOS reduced strain-induced superoxide levels. These strain-induced superoxide and MCP-1 expressions were greatly blunted by treating ECs with an NADPH oxidase inhibitor, diphenyleneiodonium chloride or apocynine, but not with a xanthine oxidase inhibitor. ECs infected with adenovirus carrying the dominant-negative mutant of Rac (RacN17), a component of NADPH oxidase, reduced the strain-induced superoxide and MCP-1 expression. In contrast, ECs transfected with a constitutively active Rac (RacV12) increased MCP-1 and 4x TRE promoter activities. However, ECs cotransfected with eNOS and RacV12 reduced those promoter activities. Consistently, the increases of superoxide levels and MCP-1 expression by overexpression of RacV12 were abolished after infecting ECs with eNOS. Our results show that NO from eNOS-inhibiting redox-sensitive MCP-1 expression is mediated via Rac-dependent NADPH oxidase by reducing ROS. This study provides a molecular basis to support the notion that endothelial NO acts as an antioxidant by negatively regulating redox-sensitive gene expression in ECs constantly under hemodynamic influence.