Cancer patients often have an activated clotting system and are at increased risk for venous thrombosis. In the present study, we analyzed tissue factor (TF) expression in 4 different human pancreatic tumor cell lines for the purpose of producing derivative tumors in vivo. We found that 2 of the lines expressed TF and released TF-positive microparticles (MPs) into the culture medium. The majority of TF protein in the culture medium was associated with MPs. Only TF-positive cell lines activated coagulation in nude mice, and this activation was abolished by an anti-human TF Ab. Of the 2 TFpositive lines, only one produced detectable levels of human MP TF activity in the plasma when grown orthotopically in nude mice. Surprisingly, < 5% of human TF protein in plasma from tumor-bearing mice was associated with MPs. Mice with TF-positive tumors and elevated levels of circulating TF-positive MPs had increased thrombosis in a saphenous vein model. In contrast, we observed no difference in thrombus weight between tumor-bearing and control mice in an inferior vena cava stenosis model. The results of the present study using a xenograft mouse model suggest that tumor TF activates coagulation, whereas TF on circulating MPs may trigger venous thrombosis.