Background and Aims: Vasomotion consists in cyclic oscillations of the arterial diameter induced by the synchronized activity of the smooth muscle cells. So far, contradictory results have emerged in the literature about the role of the endothelium in the onset and maintenance of vasomotion. Here our aim is to understand how the endothelium may either abolish or promote vasomotion. Methods and Results: We investigate rat mesenteric arterial strips stimulated with phenylephrine (PE). Our results show that the endothelium is not necessary for vasomotion. However, when the endothelium is removed, the PE concentration needed to induce vasomotion is lower and the rhythmic contractions occur for a narrower range of PE concentrations. We demonstrate that endothelium-derived relaxing products may either induce or abolish vasomotion. On the one hand, when the strip is tonically contracted in a nonoscillating state, an endothelium-derived relaxation may induce vasomotion. On the other hand, if the strip displays vasomotion with a medium mean contraction, a relaxation may induce a transition to a nonoscillating state with a small contraction. Conclusion: Our findings clarify the role of the endothelium on vasomotion and reconcile the seemingly contradictory observations reported in the literature.