A panel of human recombinant cytokines was tested for induction of procoagulant activity (PCA) in human monocyte-derived macrophages. Nonadherent culture conditions were used, and PCA was determined with whole cells rather than cell lysates. It was assured by Limulus amebocyte lysate assay that tested cytokines displayed low levels of endotoxin activity within the range of biologic activity. Additional evidence to rule out an endotoxin effect was provided by heat- inactivation experiments. Interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) were strong macrophage PCA inducers. The low level of PCA induced by IL-2, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), M-CSF, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, and IFN-alpha could not be distinguished from that induced by traces of endotoxin contaminating the preparations. Transforming growth factor-beta decreased constitutively expressed PCA within 24 hours of exposure. PCA induced by IFN-gamma, IL-1 beta, and TNF-alpha depended largely on tissue factor expression, as evidenced by experiments with factor X-deficient plasma and antitissue factor antibodies. In macrophages subcultured in adherence, IL-1 beta was a strong PCA inducer, whereas IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha promoted little PCA increase. This observation and different kinetics of PCA induction suggested that mechanisms of PCA induction are distinct for the three cytokines. Thus, we showed that well-characterized cytokines critically involved in the promotion of cell-mediated antimicrobial defense/delayed-type hypersensitivity and considered for clinical application promote local fibrin deposition by a direct effect on macrophages.