Abstract We investigated the effects of nafamostat mesilate, a synthetic protease inhibitor clinically used for patients with pancreatitis or disseminated intravascular coagulopathy, on NO synthesis and apoptosis in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated human trophoblasts. Nafamostat mesilate or aminoguanidine, an inhibitor of NO synthase, suppressed NO synthesis and apoptosis in trophoblasts induced by LPS. Both agents also suppressed matrix metalloproteinase-2 activity induced by LPS. LPS also stimulated secretion of IL-6 and IL-8 in cultured trophoblasts, which was suppressed by nafamostat mesilate. Protease inhibitors including nafamostat mesilate may be therapeutic agents for chorioamnionitis and various diseases including septic shock, ischemia-reperfusion injury in brain and heart, graft rejection, and acute phase inflammatory diseases, in which overproduction of NO or peroxynitrite is involved in tissue injury.