We have studied the effects of two stable prostaglandin endoperoxide analogues on platelet lipid metabolism in relation to specific platelet functional changes. During platelet shape change, the endoperoxide analogues induce the formation of 1,2-diacylglycerol and phosphatidic acid, indicating the activation of a phosphoinositide-specific phospholipase C. In parallel, they stimulate the phosphorylation of a 40-kd and a 20-kd protein. During platelet shape change, arachidonic acid is released, but not metabolized by platelet cyclo-oxygenase or lipoxygenase. Phospholipase C activation and platelet shape change are independent of extracellular Ca++ and Mg++, arachidonate metabolism, and release of adenosine diphosphate (ADP). Activation of phospholipase C during platelet aggregation seems, however, to be mediated partly by release of ADP. We conclude that endoperoxide analogues initially stimulate in platelets the formation of products derived from phospholipase C activation, which might serve as intracellular messengers for phosphorylation of specific proteins related to platelet shape change.