Abstract Background This study investigated whether lipopolysaccharide (LPS) increase protease-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) expression and enhance the association between PAR-2 expression and chemokine production in human vascular endothelial cells (ECs). Methods The morphology of ECs was observed through microphotography in cultured human umbilical vein ECs (EA. hy926 cells) treated with various LPS concentrations (0, 0.25, 0.5, 1, and 2 μg/mL) for 24 h, and cell viability was assessed using the MTT assay. Intracellular calcium imaging was performed to assess agonist (trypsin)-induced PAR-2 activity. Western blotting was used to explore the LPS-mediated signal transduction pathway and the expression of PAR-2 and adhesion molecule monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) in ECs. Results Trypsin stimulation increased intracellular calcium release in ECs. The calcium influx was augmented in cells pretreated with a high LPS concentration (1 μg/mL). After 24 h treatment of LPS, no changes in ECs viability or morphology were observed. Western blotting revealed that LPS increased PAR-2 expression and enhanced trypsin-induced extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)/p38 phosphorylation and MCP-1 secretion. However, pretreatment with selective ERK (PD98059), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) (SB203580) inhibitors, and the selective PAR-2 antagonist (FSLLRY-NH2) blocked the effects of LPS-activated PAR-2 on MCP-1 secretion. Conclusions Our findings provide the first evidence that the bacterial endotoxin LPS potentiates calcium mobilization and ERK/p38 MAPK pathway activation and leads to the secretion of the pro-inflammatory chemokine MCP-1 by inducing PAR-2 expression and its associated activity in vascular ECs. Therefore, PAR-2 exerts vascular inflammatory effects and plays an important role in bacterial infection-induced pathological responses.