Initiation of coagulation by tissue factor (TF) is a potentially powerful regulator of local inflammatory responses. We hypothesized that blockade of TF-factor VIIa (FVIIa) complex would decrease lung inflammation and proinflammatory cytokine release after tracheal instillation of Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS 0111:B4). At the time of injury, rats received one dose of site-inactivated FVIIa (FFR-FVIIa) or saline intravenously. At 0, 6,12, 24, and 48 h after injury, lungs were examined for histologic changes and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was performed to assess protein, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity, cell counts, and cytokine levels. LPS-injured rats treated with FFR-FVIIa showed decreased intra-alveolar inflammation and fibrin deposition by light microscopy compared with untreated rats. This was accompanied by decreased protein leakage (P < 0.0001), LDH activity (P < 0.0001), and local elaboration of interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-6, and IL-10 (all P < 0.0001), but not tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha. Protection was associated with reduction of TF mRNA expression in whole lung, but not with changes in nuclear translocation of nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB. FFR-FVIIa given 6 h after LPS afforded equivalent lung protection. Therefore, blockade of TF-FVIIa complex protects the lung from injury by LPS in part by reducing local expression of proinflammatory cytokines and may offer promise for therapy of acute lung injury.