Background/Aims: Although the renal microvasculature, including the glomerular capillaries, is generally considered to develop from the metanephric mesenchyme, this has not been unequivocally demonstrated. Using a murine metanephric mesenchymal cell line (MS7), we tested whether the metanephric mesenchyme expresses phenotypic characteristics of endothelial cells and differentiates into vascular endothelial cells in vitro. Methods: MS7 cells were examined for the mRNA expression of endothelial markers by reverse transcription (RT)-PCR. Moreover, we attempted to induce the appearance of new endothelial markers by stimulation with growth factors and exposure to hypoxia. Results: Before induction, MS7 cells expressed mRNA of fetal liver kinase 1 (Flk1), fms-like tyrosine kinase (Flt1), tyrosine kinase with Ig and EGF homology domains 2 (Tie2), CD31, and podocalyxin. However, they did not express mRNA for vascular endothelial-cadherin (VE-cadherin) or von Willebrand factor (vWF), which are markers specific for endothelial cells and mature endothelial cells. In the immunocytochemical analysis, MS7 absorbed DiI-acetylated LDL virtually, but the results of staining with anti-VE-cadherin, vWF, or CD31 antibodies were negative. MS7 cells that were cultured for 14 days after reaching confluence began to express VE-cadherin and vWF mRNA. In addition, immunofluorescence showed abundant granules stained with anti-vWF antibody in the cytoplasm. Stimulation with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), or basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), or exposure to a hypoxic condition did not influence their characteristic changes. Conclusion: Our results suggest that metanephric mesenchymal (MS7) cells possess some characteristics of endothelial cells, and they are potent to differentiate into mature vascular endothelium in vitro.