Primary cultures of confluent human endothelial cells (ECM) were grown in media containing the major lipoproteins (LP) and lipoprotein deficient serum (LDS). The release of 6-keto-PGF1 alpha, von Willebrand factor (VIII RAg) and apolipoproteins (apo) A-I and A-II were investigated by radioimmunoassay. The cell-associated VIII RAg, apo A-I and apo A-II were also confirmed by fluorescein antibodies, and the synthesis of the apolipoproteins was examined by incorporation of [3H]leucine. Apo A-I and apo A-II were located and synthesized in ECM, yet only apo A-I was released into the medium. Very low density (VLDL) and low density lipoproteins (LDL) in concentrations of 50-600 micrograms/ml stimulated release of apo A-I. Stimulation of ECM for 5 min with thrombin (T) or arachidonic acid (A) did not induce apo A-I release. VIII RAg was always released into the media from ECM. The release was not affected by the lipoproteins. VIII RAg was also localized on the cell surface (VIII RAgC) and approximately 80% was released by trypsin. LDL stimulated the occurrence of factor VIII RAg on the cell surface. 6-Keto PGF1 alpha was always released into the medium and the production was stimulated by T and AA. The main lipoproteins (50-600 micrograms/ml) and apo A-I and A-II did not affect the release of 6-keto-PGF1 alpha. This study shows that endothelial cells synthesize and release proteins important for thrombogenesis and atherosclerosis. The release of apolipoproteins A-I was stimulated by VLDL and LDL, and the concentration of cell-related factor VIII RAg was stimulated by LDL.