Fibrin deposition in the peritubular capillaries and along the tubular basement membrane is commonly observed in several renal diseases and suggests the involvement of blood coagulation in tubulointerstitial damage. It has been demonstrated that tissue factor (TF) is present in tubular epithelial cells of animal models of nephritis. Tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI) regulates the extrinsic pathway of blood coagulation through its ability to inhibit TF activity and it is now thought to be produced mainly by the vascular endothelial cells. We examined whether human proximal tubular epithelial cells (PTEC) could produce TFPI and attempted to clarify the regulatory factors affecting TFPI production. Cultured human PTEC were used. The procoagulant activity (PCA) in PTEC lysate was quantified by measurement of the one-stage recalcification time. TFPI in the cell supernatants was measured by ELISA. The mRNA of TF and TFPI in PTEC was analyzed by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). PCA which is compatible with TF activity was present in the PTEC lysate. TF mRNA and TFPI mRNA were detected in PTEC. The amount of TFPI increased over time in the cell supernatants. Immnoblot analysis revealed 40 kD protein of TFPI, and TFPI antigen was demonstrated in PTEC by immunofluorescence. The concentration of TFPI was significantly increased following incubation with thrombin and heparin in a dose- and time-dependent manner, although the amount of TFPI mRNA was not changed. Our study showed that TFPI is produced in cultured PTEC and added one more cell type that produced TFPI other than endothelial cells. Thrombin and heparin stimulated TFPI secretion from PTEC. TFPI of PTEC may act against generation of thrombin and tubular fibrin formation induced by tissue factor activation. The augmentation of TFPI secretion by heparin may play an important role in the modulation of anticoagulant properties of PTEC.