This study was performed to determine if genes for tissue factor and factor VII proteins are expressed and regulated in vivo in lung macrophages during inflammation. Human alveolar macrophages and alveolar fluids were obtained 18 hours after healthy male adults were exposed, for 2 hours during intermittent exercise, to either air or air with 0.4 ppm ozone, added as a model toxic respiratory agent. Messenger RNA (mRNA) for both tissue factor and factor VII were demonstrated in macrophages isolated after subjects were exposed to unpolluted control air. With the same subjects examined after breathing ozone, the following changes were observed: tissue factor mRNA concentration in macrophages increased 2.6 +/- 0.47-fold. Factor VII mRNA concentration was reduced 0.64 +/- 0.24-fold. Total numbers of macrophages recovered did not change significantly. Ratios of nuclear:cytoplasmic areas of cytocentrifuged macrophages were augmented by 24.8% +/- 3%, giving morphometric evidence that immature cell forms increased in the population. In the lavage, tissue factor activity was increased 2.1 +/- 0.3-fold, while amounts of lipid phosphorous, which estimate total membrane lipids, and estimated volumes of alveolar fluid were not significantly changed. Factor VII activity and fibrinopeptide A levels in lavage were increased approximately twofold. These results using rapidly isolated, noncultured cells indicate that tissue factor and factor VII mRNA are synthesized in the alveolar macrophage population in vivo. In addition, evidence was found that as a result of breathing ozone, a shift in alveolar macrophage maturity occurred in association with tissue factor mRNA, tissue factor activity, and factor VII activity increases, and with formation of fibrinopeptide A in alveolar fluids.