Glomerular epithelial cells (GEC) are a known site of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) production. We established immortalized rat GEC, which retained the ability to produce VEGF. The isoforms expressed by GEC were defined as VEGF-205, -188, -120, and -164. The electrical resistance of endothelial cells cultured on GEC-conditioned matrix, an indicator of the permeability of monolayers to solutes, was significantly increased by the treatment with the neutralizing polyclonal antibodies to VEGF and decreased by VEGF-165. Transfection of endothelial cells with green fluorescence protein-caveolin construct and intravital confocal microscopy showed that VEGF results in a rapid appearance of transcellular elongated structures decorated with caveolin. Transmission electron microscopy of endothelial cells showed that caveolae undergo rapid internalization and fusion 30 min after application of VEGF-165. Later (36 h), endothelial cells pretreated with VEGF developed fenestrae and showed a decrease in electrical resistance. Immunoelectron microscopy of glomeruli confirmed VEGF localization to podocytes and in the basement membrane. In summary, immortalized GEC retain the ability to synthesize VEGF. Matrix-deposited and soluble VEGF leads to the enhancement of caveolae expression, their fission and fusion, formation of elongated caveolin-decorated structures, and eventual formation of fenestrae, both responsible for the increase in endothelial permeability.