Previous reports have made it hypothetically possible that human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) could protect against the onset of pregnancy-related pathological conditions by acting as an antioxidant. In the present study we planned to examine the effects of hCG against oxidative stress in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). HUVEC were subjected to peroxidation by hydrogen peroxide. The modulation of nitric oxide (NO) release by hCG and its effects on cell viability, glutathione (GSH) levels, mitochondrial membrane potential and mitochondrial transition pore opening (MPTP) were examined by specific dyes. Endothelial and inducible NO synthase (eNOS and iNOS), Akt and extracellular -signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) activation and markers of apoptosis were analyzed by Western Blot. In HUVEC, hCG reduced NO release by modulating eNOS and iNOS. Moreover, hCG protected HUVEC against oxidative stress by preventing GSH reduction and apoptosis, by maintaining Akt and ERK1/2 activation and by keeping mitochondrial function. The present results have for the first time shown protective effects exerted by hCG on vascular endothelial function, which would be achieved by modulation of NO release, antioxidant and antiapoptotic actions and activation of cell survival signalling. These findings could have clinical implications in the management of pregnancy-related disorders.