NCX4016 (2 acetoxy-benzoate 2-(2-nitroxymethyl)-phenyl ester, NicOx S.A., France) is an anti-thrombotic agent, chemically related to acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) and able to release NO. We tested the effects of NCX4016 and ASA on the release of the thromboxane (TX) A(2) metabolite TXB(2), tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-6 (IL-6), expression and activity of tissue factor (TF) in stimulated, adherent human monocytes. Both ASA and NCX4016 1 - 1000 micromol l(-1) dose-dependently reduced TXB(2) concentration, measured by RIA in the supernatant of 10 microg ml(-1) LPS-stimulated cells. NCX4016 activity was comparable to that of equimolar ASA when incubation lasted 6 h (NCX4016 30 micromol l(-1): -86.0+/-10.1%, NCX4016 300 micromol l(-1): -92.2+/-9.0%, ASA 30 micromol l(-1): -92.3+/-7.5%, ASA 300 micromol l(-1): -97.3+/-1.0%, n=6, M+/-s.d.). Most of the activity of NCX4016 up to 100 micromol l(-1) was prevented by 10 micromol l(-1) ODQ, inhibitor of cyclic GMP. NCX4016 100 - 300 micromol l(-1) reduced TNF-alpha (NCX4016 300 micromol l(-1)=-77.2+/-19.9%, n=6) and IL-6 (NCX4016 300 micromol l(-1): -61.9+/-15.2%, n=6) in LPS stimulated monocytes while ASA had no significant effects. TF activity (NCX4016 300 micromol l(-1): 53.7+/-39.9%, n=4) and immunoreactive TF (NCX4016 300 micromol l(-1): -93.9+/-7.9%, n=7), measured in the supernatant of stimulated cells, were also dose-dependently inhibited by NCX4016 but not by ASA. The present results indicate that NCX4016 inhibits TXA(2) generation as well as cytokine release and TF in human monocytes partly via NO-dependent mechanisms. NCX4016 may have a favourable profile of activities in the clinical setting of athero-thrombosis.