Vascular endothelial cells are a target for blood-borne pathogens which may affect their integrity and thromboresistant properties. Here, we report that cultured bovine and human endothelial cells lose their thromboresistance following interaction with the avian hemangioma-inducing retrovirus. We show that the envelope (env) gene product, glycoprotein 85, is responsible for this effect, which appears soon after infection without viral replication or cell transformation. Induction of thrombogenicity is associated with a reduction in prostacyclin release and increased expression of tissue factor. These observations may explain the occurrence of thrombosis frequently observed in association with the hemangiosarcomas induced by avian hemangioma-inducing retrovirus. These unique endothelial cell-virus interactions may also be a model for the pathogenesis of various vascular diseases.