Tissue factor (TF) is a membrane anchored glycoprotein that initiates blood coagulation by forming a complex with circulating factor VII or VIIa. TF has been identified in atherosclerotic plaques and may possibly trigger thrombosis after spontaneous plaque rupture as seen in acute myocardial infarction or angioplasty. We have previously developed an atherosclerotic rabbit model for study of the acute and chronic outcomes following angioplasty. As a first step in developing inhibitors of TF, we have isolated and characterized a rabbit cDNA coding for the mature TF. The sequence comparison of rabbit TF cDNA with those of human and mouse TFs show considerable similarity at both the nucleotide and amino acid levels. The TF cDNA when expressed in E. coli demonstrates a procoagulant activity comparable to that of native rabbit brain TF. The TF activity can be blocked by a polyclonal antibody against rabbit TF.