Objective To investigate effective mechanisms of the Bu-shen-ning-xin recipe on interaction of endothelial cells and monocytes in human atherosclerosis. Methods Using the cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) as target cells, the oxidized low density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) was added to the endothelial cell culture to prepare the injury model of human endothelial cell. The sera of rabbits having been afforded with the Bu-shen-ning-xin decoction was added to the experimental architecture, the conditioned medium of HUVECs (EC-CM) was collected and was used to act on U937(monocyte-like cell line). The content of monocyte chemoattractant protein(MCP-1) secreted by HUVECs was determined and the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) was measured. CCR2、LFA-1 and VLA-4 mRNA transcription of U937 were detected at the same time. Results Treatment of HUVECs with ox-LDL significantly increased the level of MCP-1 secreted by HUVECs and induced the expression of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 of HUVECs. Under the action of EC-CM the mRNA expression of CCR2、LFA-1 and VLA-4 of U937 increased significantly. If serum of the animal having Bu-shen-ning-xin decoction was added to the experimental architecture, the level of MCP-1 decreased and the expression of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 of HUVECs reduced significantly( P <0.01). The mRNA expressions of CCR2、LFA-1 and VLA-4 of U937 decreased significantly if treated with the EC-CM after having been incubated in sera of the animal having Bu-shen-ning-xin decoction . Conclusions The sera of the animal having Bu-shen-ning-xin decoction appears to have the protective effect on the vascular endothelial cell probably by the way of inhibiting the secretion of MCP-1, down-regulating the expression of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 of endothelial cells and repressing the recruitment and adherence of monocytes to the endothelial cells.