Circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) have been suggested as a precious source for generating functionally competent endothelial cells (ECs), candidate for various clinical applications. However, the paucity of these progenitor cells and the technical difficulties for their in vitro growth represent a main limitation to their use. In the present study we hypothesized that the paracrine effects of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) may improve endothelial cell generation from cord blood (CB) EPCs. In line with this hypothesis we showed that HUVEC conditioned medium (CM) or co-culture with HUVECs markedly improved the proliferation and differentiation and delayed the senescence of CB EPCs. The endothelial-promoting effect of CM seems to be related to smaller vesicles including exosomes (sEV/exo) contained in this medium and transferred to CB CD34(+) EPCs: in fact, purified preparations of sEV/exo isolated from CM mimicked the effect of CM to sustain endothelial formation. These observations provided the interesting indication that mature ECs exert a stimulatory effect on endothelial cell differentiation from CD34(+) cells.