Abstract Aggregating platelets relax isolated coronary arteries through the release of endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF). Since release of EDRF may be calcium dependent, we tested if and how aggregating platelets stimulated a calcium response in cultured endothelial cells. Aggregating platelets caused a transient increase in intracellular calcium in endothelial cells loaded with the fluorescent calcium indicator fura-2. The adenine nucleotides ADP and ATP, but not other platelet-derived mediators, mimicked the platelet-induced calcium response, and inhibition of adenine nucleotides impaired the response to aggregating platelets. Thus, aggregating platelets release adenine nucleotides and stimulate a rise in intracellular calcium in cultured endothelial cells. This calcium response may represent the intracellular transduction mechanism by which aggregating platelets induce endothelial release of EDRF and subsequent relaxation of coronary arteries.