Aims: Arginase II regulates NOS activity by competing for the substrate l-arginine. Oxidized LDL (OxLDL) is a proatherogenic molecule that activates arginase II. We tested the hypotheses that OxLDL-dependent arginase II activation occurs through a specific receptor, and via a Rho GTPase effector mechanism that is inhibited by statins. Methods and results: Arginase II activation by OxLDL was attenuated following preincubation with the LOX-1 receptor-blocking antibody JTX92. This also prevented the dissociation of arginase II from microtubules. LOX-1-/- mice failed to exhibit the increased arginase II activity seen in WT mice fed a high cholesterol diet. Furthermore, endothelium from LOX-1-/- mice failed to demonstrate the diet-dependent reduction in NO and increase in ROS that were observed in WT mice. OxLDL induced Rho translocation to the membrane and Rho activation, and these effects were inhibited by pretreatment with JTX92 or statins. Transfection with siRNA for RhoA, or inhibition of ROCK both decreased OxLDL-stimulated arginase II activation. Preincubation with simvastatin or lovastatin blocked OxLDL-induced dissociation of arginase II from microtubules and prevented microtubule depolymerization. Conclusions: This study provides a new focus for preventive therapy for atherosclerotic disease by delineating a clearer path from OxLDL through the endothelial cell LOX-1 receptor, RhoA, and ROCK, to the activation of arginase II, downregulation of NO, and vascular dysfunction. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.