Among the effector molecules induced in monocytes by the cellular immune response is tissue factor (TF), the initiating receptor/cofactor of the extrinsic coagulation protease cascade that is also frequently observed on human tumor cells. Other cellular activators have also been described on monocytes and tumor cells. Analyses of the cellular immune procoagulant response would be aided by a simple and efficient form of quantitation. An assay for cellular procoagulant activity (PCA) induction and expression was developed utilizing the chromogenic thrombin substrate tosyl-Gly-Pro-Arg-p-nitroanilide acetate. The constitutive or induced PCA of a variety of cells was analyzed. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells, peritoneal exudate cells, 13762 Mat B (III) mammary carcinoma cells, 1591-RE fibrosarcoma cells, the macrophage cell line WEHI-265, a detector of PCA inducing lymphokines, or mixtures of these cells were incubated with or without stimuli, e.g., endotoxin, in 96-well microplates. After incubation the cells were assayed for PCA by addition of the chromogenic substrate for thrombin using fibrinogen depleted plasma as a source of the coagulation proteins factors VII, X, V and prothrombin. The absorbance at 405 nm was determined. Spontaneous cleavage of the chromogenic substrate restricted the assay to total analysis times of less than 14 min. The 13762 Mat B (III) rat tumor which constitutively expressed tissue factor-like procoagulant activity induced measurable substrate hydrolysis with as few as 100 cells/well. It was observed that the chromogenic substrate assay was approximately twice as sensitive as conventional clotting assays for procoagulant activity. Endotoxin stimulated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells and mouse peritoneal exudate cells were readily analyzed. The procoagulant activity of approximately 280 LPS-stimulated human monocytes generated sufficient thrombin to provide a significant measurable signal within 10 min. Also supernatants from mixed lymphocyte cultures as well as from immune lymphocyte responses to syngeneic tumor cell cultures induced procoagulant activity in the macrophage like cell line WEHI-265 as determined with the assay for thrombin generation. The hydrolysis of the substrate was attributed to thrombin formation since the induced cleavage was abolished by hirudin, the highly specific active site inhibitor of thrombin. This chromogenic thrombin assay can be used for measuring induction of viable cell expression or total cellular procoagulant activity rapidly and efficiently in large replicate numbers suitable for a variety of analyses of cellular immune responses including clonal analyses of gene induction.