Endothelial biomechanics is emerging as a key factor in endothelial function. Here, we address the mechanisms of endothelial stiffening induced by oxidized LDL (oxLDL) and investigate the role of oxLDL in lumen formation. We show that oxLDL-induced endothelial stiffening is mediated by CD36-dependent activation of RhoA and its downstream target, Rho kinase (ROCK), via inhibition of myosin light-chain phosphatase (MLCP) and myosin light-chain (MLC)2 phosphorylation. The LC-MS/MS analysis identifies 7-ketocholesterol (7KC) as the major oxysterol in oxLDL. Similarly to oxLDL, 7KC induces RhoA activation, MLCP inhibition, and MLC2 phosphorylation resulting in endothelial stiffening. OxLDL also facilitates formation of endothelial branching networks in 3D collagen gels in vitro and induces increased formation of functional blood vessels in a Matrigel plug assay in vivo. Both effects are RhoA and ROCK dependent. An increase in lumen formation was also observed in response to pre-exposing the cells to 7KC, an oxysterol that induces endothelial stiffening, but not to 5α,6α epoxide that does not affect endothelial stiffness. Importantly, loading cells with cholesterol prevented oxLDL-induced RhoA activation and the downstream signaling cascade, and reversed oxLDL-induced lumen formation. In summary, we show that oxLDL-induced endothelial stiffening is mediated by the CD36/RhoA/ROCK/MLCP/MLC2 pathway and is associated with increased endothelial angiogenic activity.