Metronomic oral vinorelbine (VRL; Navelbine) was shown in clinical trials to yield sustainable antitumor activity possibly through antiangiogenic mechanisms. We investigated the effects of protracted low-dose VRL on human umbilical vein endothelial cells, compared with a conventional chemotherapy model. Human umbilical vein endothelial cell cultures were treated with different concentrations of VRL (0.001 nmol/l to 1 mmol/l) for 4, 24 and 96 h. The effects of different drug concentrations on cell growth, cell cycle, apoptosis and expression of the angiogenesis-modulating genes interleukin-8, cyclooxygenase-2, CD36 and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ were assessed using the metronomic or conventional chemotherapy model. Apoptosis and cell-cycle effects were assessed by flow cytometry. Gene expression was measured at the transcript level by quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR, protein expression by immunoblotting and levels of proteins secreted in the cell medium by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Activation of the nuclear factor-κB pathway was investigated by immunoblot analysis of cytosolic and nuclear protein extracts. The half-maximal inhibitory concentrations (IC50) of VRL at 96 h were four orders lower compared with those after a 24-h exposure (1.23 nmol/l vs. 32 mmol/l for VRL). Drug concentrations at high nanomolar levels and above, which are relevant to conventional pulsatile dosing of VRL, induced a dose-dependent and nuclear factor-κB-related increase in proangiogenic interleukin-8 and cyclooxygenase-2 and a decrease in the thrombospondin-1 receptor CD36 and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ at mRNA and protein levels. In contrast, the opposite was evident with protracted picomolar to low nanomolar concentrations (metronomic dosing). Our data provide experimental support for metronomic VRL by showing that a protracted low dose outperforms pulsed high-dose administration in inducing antiangiogenic effects in proliferating human endothelial cells.