Although treatment of cultured granulosa cells with gonadotropins increases their fibrinolytic activity, the biochemical nature of this effect is unclear. We have used sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and fibrin autography techniques to characterize the fibrinolytic components secreted by granulosa cells. The fibrinolytic activity of these cells results from the production of both a tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) and a urokinase-like activator (u-PA). The cells also produce an inhibitor of fibrinolysis (antiactivator). FSH and LH stimulate t-PA activity and suppress antiactivator activity, while u-PA activity is not affected by the gonadotropins. The differential regulation of these molecules by the gonadotropins may be essential for ovulation.