The stem cell-platelet lineage is uniquely defined by platelet cell- lineage antigens. These antigens are present on all stem cells measured by the spleen colony assay and become restricted to the platelet cell lineage as differentiation proceeds. In this study, anti-platelet serum (APS) has been used to identify cells in the bone marrow that express platelet cell-lineage antigens and to identify platelet cell surface molecules expressing these antigens. Anti-platelet IgG extensively absorbed with brain, thymus, and peritoneal cells bound selectively to stem cells, megakaryocyte progenitor cells (Mk-CFC), and megakaryocytes in CBA mouse bone marrow and to blood platelets. No other hemopoietic cell type, tissue, cell line, or tumor cell bound significant amounts of antibody against platelet cell-lineage antigens as determined by ability to absorb the anti-stem cell activity in APS. Studies with lactoperoxidase-labeled platelets showed that two major iodinated proteins of Mr = 114,000 and 138,000 were immunoprecipitated with APS and with antiserum that had been extensively absorbed. These proteins correspond to the platelet IIb-IIIa glycoprotein complex, which is known to express receptors for collagen and fibrinogen, molecules known to influence hemopoietic cell proliferation and tumor cell growth. A panel of six monoclonal antibodies against human IIb-IIIa inhibited spleen colony formation by 17% to 100%, J15 and A5.15 also being cytotoxic for granulocyte-macrophage progenitor cells and Mk-CFC. Other platelet monoclonal antibodies did not inhibit spleen colony formation. Although APS inhibited fibrinogen binding to platelets and platelet aggregation, these activities were greatly reduced with absorbed antiserum. Furthermore, fibrinogen treatment of bone marrow did not block the anti-stem cell activity in APS. Thus the evidence is consistent with expression of platelet cell-lineage antigens on the platelet IIb-IIIa glycoprotein complex at a site removed from the fibrinogen binding site.