Background/aims: Tissue factor (TF) is a transmembrane protein that is essential for coagulation. TF is expressed on podocytes and its cytoplasmic domain has cell signalling functions in epithelial cells.Methods: Mice lacking the cytoplasmic domain of TF (TF(CT-/-) mice) were used to study its role in physiological albuminuria and pathological proteinuria following induction of glomerulonephritis (GN). Results: Absence of the cytoplasmic domain of TF was associated with increased albuminuria, podocyte effacement, reduced podocyte numbers and increased spontaneous glomerular tumour necrosis factor α(TNFα) production under physiological conditions. In mice developing GN, absence of the cytoplasmic domain of TF resulted in increased proteinuria and enhanced renal TNFα production without altering other parameters of renal inflammation and injury. Studies in TF(CT-/-) chimeric mice (created by bone marrow transplantation) showed increased proteinuria and renal TNFα mRNA in GN was associated with absence of the cytoplasmic domain of TF in the kidney and was independent of the leucocyte phenotype.Conclusion: These studies demonstrate that the cytoplasmic domain of TF contributes to renal albumin retention and its renal expression protects against proteinuria in leucocyte-mediated renal inflammation. Increased glomerular production of TNFα in the absence of cytoplasmic domain of TF may contribute to podocyte injury resulting in albuminuria and proteinuria.