We have extended our earlier observation that growing primary cultures of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) with heparin binding growth factor 1 (HBGF-1) 20 micrograms/mL and heparin 12 U/mL inhibits expression of tissue factor (TF) activity on HUVC monolayers perturbed with thrombin. TF activity was measured as the ability of monolayers or cell lysates to support FVIIa-catalyzed activation peptide release from 3H-FX. TF antigen in HUVEC extracts was measured in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) that uses a double-antibody sandwich technique with rabbit and goat antibodies to human TF. TF-mRNA was measured by Northern blot hybridization with a 32P-TF cDNA probe. Cells growth with HBGF-1/heparin had both decreased surface and total TF activity as compared with HUVEC from the same endothelial cell pool grown without HBGF-1/heparin. Means +/- SD for TF antigen for four primary cultures were 4.4 +/- 0.9 ng/10(6) cells without HBGF-1/heparin and 0.6 +/- 0.3 ng/10(6) cells with HBGF-1/heparin. TF mRNA 4 hours after incubation with thrombin of HUVEC grown without HBGF-1/heparin was about sevenfold higher than TF mRNA of HUVEC grown with HBGF- 1/heparin. These data establish that growing primary cultures of HUVEC with HBGF-1/heparin impairs their ability to synthesize TF apoprotein after perturbation. This may be part of a generalized response of endothelial cells to HBGF-1/heparin facilitating migration during angiogenesis.