Suspensions of aspirin-treated, 32P-prelabelled, washed platelets containing ADP scavengers in the buffer were activated with either phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate (PdBu) or the Ca2+ ionophore A23187. High concentrations of PdBu (greater than or equal to 50 nM) induced platelet aggregation and the protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent phosphorylation of proteins with molecular masses of 20 (myosin light chain), 38 and 47 kDa. No increase in cytosolic Ca2+ was observed. Preincubation of platelets with prostacyclin (PGI2) stimulated the phosphorylation of a 50 kDa protein [EC50 (concn. giving half-maximal effect) 0.6 ng of PGI2/ml] and completely abolished platelet aggregation [ID50 (concn. giving 50% inhibition) 0.5 ng of PGI2/ml] induced by PdBu, but had no effect on phosphorylation of the 20, 38 and 47 kDa proteins elicited by PdBu. The Ca2+ ionophore A23187 induced shape change, aggregation, mobilization of Ca2+, rapid phosphorylation of the 20 and 47 kDa proteins and the formation of phosphatidic acid. Preincubation of platelets with PGI2 (500 ng/ml) inhibited platelet aggregation, but not shape change, Ca2+ mobilization or the phosphorylation of the 20 and 47 kDa proteins induced by Ca2+ ionophore A23187. The results indicate that PGI2, through activation of cyclic AMP-dependent kinases, inhibits platelet aggregation at steps distal to protein phosphorylation evoked by protein kinase C and Ca2+-dependent protein kinases.

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