Generation of coagulation factor Xa by the intrinsic pathway protease complex is essential for normal activation of the coagulation cascade in vivo. Monocytes and platelets provide membrane sites for assembly of components of this protease complex, factors IXa and VIII. Under biologically relevant conditions, expression of functional activity by this complex is associated with activation of factor VIII to VIIIa. In the present studies, autocatalytic regulatory pathways operating on monocyte and platelet membranes were investigated by comparing the cofactor function of thrombin-activated factor VIII to that of factor Xa-activated factor VIII. Reciprocal functional titrations with purified human factor VIII and factor IXa were performed at fixed concentrations of human monocytes, CaCl2, factor X, and either factor IXa or factor VIII. Factor VIII was preactivated with either thrombin or factor Xa, and reactions were initiated by addition of factor X. Rates of factor X activation were measured using chromogenic substrate specific for factor Xa. The K1/2 values, i.e., concentration of factor VIIIa at which rates were half maximal, were 0.96 nM with thrombin-activated factor VIII and 1.1 nM with factor Xa-activated factor VIII. These values are close to factor VIII concentration in plasma. The Vsat, i.e., rates at saturating concentrations of factor VIII, were 33.3 and 13.6 nM factor Xa/min, respectively. The K1/2 and Vsat values obtained in titrations with factor IXa were not significantly different from those obtained with factor VIII. In titrations with factor X, the values of Michaelis-Menten coefficients (Km) were 31.7 nM with thrombin-activated factor VIII, and 14.2 nM with factor Xa-activated factor VIII. Maximal rates were 23.4 and 4.9 nM factor Xa/min, respectively. The apparent catalytic efficiency was similar with either form of factor VIIIa. Kinetic profiles obtained with platelets as a source of membrane were comparable to those obtained with monocytes. These kinetic profiles are consistent with a 1:1 stoichiometry for the functional interaction between cofactor and enzyme on the surface of monocytes and platelets. Taken together, these results indicate that autocatalytic pathways connecting the extrinsic, intrinsic, and common coagulation pathways can operate efficiently on the monocyte membrane.