Therapy with all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) can rapidly improve the coagulopathy of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). This study was designed to evaluate whether the APL cell line NB4 induces the procoagulant activity (PCA) of human endothelial cells (ECs) in vitro, and whether this property is modified after ATRA-induced NB4 maturation. EC monolayers were incubated for 4 hours at 37 degrees C with the conditioned media (CM) of NB4 treated with 1 mumol/L ATRA (ATRA-NB4-CM) or the vehicle (control-NB4-CM). EC lysates were tested for PCA. ATRA-NB4-CM induced significantly more PCA:tissue factor (TF) than control-NB4-CM (P .01). To identify the cause of TF induction, interleukin (IL)-1 beta antigen levels were measured in CM samples. ATRA-NB4-CM contained significantly more IL-1 beta than control-NB4-CM. EC PCA was significantly inhibited by an anti-IL-1 beta antibody. The addition to the media of 10 mumol/L ATRA counteracted the EC TF expression induced by NB4-CM. These data indicate that ATRA increases the promyelocyte-induced EC TF, partly through increased IL-1 beta production. However, ATRA can protect the endothelium from the procoagulant stimulus of leukemic cells.