Activated protein C (APC), an anticoagulant that acts by inactivating Factors Va and VIIIa, is dependent on a suitable surface for its action. In this study we examined the ability of human platelets to provide this surface and support APC-mediated anticoagulant effects. The activity of APC was examined in three systems: the Factor Xa recalcification time of Al(OH)3 adsorbed plasma, studies of thrombin generation in recalcified plasma, and assessment of the rate of inactivation of purified Factor Va. In comparison with phospholipid, intact platelets required significantly greater concentrations of APC to achieve a similar degree of anticoagulation. When washed platelet membranes were substituted for intact platelets, adequate support of APC was observed and the anticoagulant effect was similar to that obtained with phospholipid. Platelet release obtained by stimulation of platelets with thrombin and epinephrine contained an inhibitor that interfered with the ability of phospholipid and washed platelet membranes to catalyze the anticoagulant effects of APC. A noncompetitive inhibition was suggested by Dixon plot analysis of the interaction between platelet releasate and APC. The activity of the platelet APC inhibitor was immediate and was not enhanced by heparin, distinguishing it from the circulating protein C inhibitor. The presence of this inhibitor in the platelet and its release with platelet stimulation emphasizes the procoagulant role of this cell.