Hageman factor was purified from guinea pig plasma by successive column chromatography. The guinea pig Hageman factor appeared homogeneous as a single-chain protein on polyacrylamide gels in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and beta-mercaptoethanol. The apparent molecular weight was 76,000 daltons by SDS--polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and 105,000 daltons by gel filtration with a Sephadex G-150 column. Amino acid composition of the guinea pig Hageman factor was similar to that reported for human, bovine, and rabbit Hageman factors. The purified guinea pig Hageman factor, as well as guinea pig plasma, showed strong clotting time correction activity in Hageman-factor--deficient human plasma. The activity could be blocked by the IgG fraction of antiserums against guinea pig Hageman factor raised in rabbits or a goat. The concentration of Hageman factor in guinea pig plasma was determined to be 120 microgram/ml by quantitative radial immunodiffusion assay. The 28,000-dalton active form of Hageman factor (beta-HFa) was prepared from guinea pig Hageman factor by treatment with plasma kallikrein. beta-HFa caused an increase in vascular permeability when injected into guinea pig skin at concentrations as low as 3 x 10(-10) M (0.8 ng). Native, or zymogen Hageman factor did not cause an increase in permeability at concentrations of up to 2 x 10(-7) M. The increased permeability induced by beta-HFa was short lasting, with about a 50% decrease in activity apparent within 6 minutes after intradermal injection. The permeability enhancement activity of beta-HFa was inhibited by pretreatment of beta-HFa with diisopropylfluorophosphate. It may be concluded that active Hageman factor in the interstitial space of guinea pigs acts as a vascular permeability factor of far greater potency than bradykinin.