Endothelin-1 (ET-1) appears to be involved in drug-induced proliferation of gingival fibroblasts. Thrombin induces proliferation of human gingival fibroblasts via protease-activated receptor 1 (PAR1). In this study, using cultured rat gingival fibroblasts, we investigated whether thrombin-induced proliferation of gingival fibroblasts is mediated by ET-1. Thrombin-induced proliferation (0.05–2.5 U/mL). Proliferation was also induced by a PAR1-specific agonist (TFLLR-NH2, 0.1–30 μm), but not by a PAR2-specific agonist (SLIGRL-NH2). Thrombin (2.5 U/mL) induced an increase in immunoreactive ET-1 expression, which was inhibited by cycloheximide (10 μg/mL), and an increase in preproET-1 mRNA expression, as assessed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. TFLLR-NH2 increased ET-1 release into the culture medium in both a concentration (0.01–10 μm)- and time (6–24 h)-dependent manner, as assessed by solid phase sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The thrombin (2.5 U/mL)-induced proliferation was inhibited by a PAR1-selective inhibitor, SCH79797 (0.1 μm) and an ETA antagonist, BQ-123 (1 μm), but not by an ETB antagonist, BQ-788 (1 μm). These findings suggest that thrombin, acting via PAR1, induced proliferation of cultured rat gingival fibroblasts that was mediated by ET-1 acting via ETA.