Tissue factor (TF) plays a central role in the initial activation of the extrinsic coagulation pathway and is thought to be involved in the development of atherosclerosis and thrombosis. The effect of advanced glycosylation end products (AGEs) on TF expression and its mechanism were assessed by flow cytometric analysis. Human macrophage-like U937 cells, which were shown to contain mRNA encoding the receptors of advanced glycosylation end products (RAGE), expressed TF in a dose-dependent manner on incubation with AGE-albumin. AGE-albumin-induced TF expression was completely inhibited by the anti-oxidant agents, catalase and probucol. TF expression in peripheral monocytes from normal volunteers was also increased by AGE-albumin. Finally, TF expression in monocytes from individuals with diabetes mellitus, in whom the concentration of circulating AGEs is reported to be increased, was higher than that in monocytes from normal controls. These results suggest that AGE-induced TF expression in macrophages/monocytes is mediated by oxidant stress. AGEs may promote thrombosis and the development of atherosclerosis by inducing TF expression in monocytes in patients with diabetes mellitus.