Fibrinogen, fibronectin, von Willebrand factor, and thrombospondin are four large glycoproteins that bind to thrombin-stimulated platelets and influence cellular adhesive functions. The effects of five monoclonal antibodies that react with platelet membrane glycoproteins (GP) IIb and/or IIIa on the binding of these four molecules to stimulated platelets were assessed. Tab and PMI-1, antibodies recognizing GPIIb, had no effect, whereas 10E5 and 2G12, antibodies that immunoprecipitate both GPIIb and IIIa in the presence of calcium, inhibited binding of all four ligands by greater than 85%. T10, an antibody specific for the GPIIb-IIIa complex, produced partial inhibition (60% to 80%) of the binding of each ligand. Inhibitory antibodies were effective in the same dose range for all four proteins and also inhibited binding of fibrinogen, fibronectin, and von Willebrand factor to receptors fixed in an induced state (thrombin-stimulated platelets fixed with paraformaldehyde). Thrombospondin did not bind to these fixed cell preparations. The results suggest that these four adhesive proteins have a related mechanism of binding to thrombin-stimulated platelets. This related mechanism may entail the sharing of some, but not necessarily all, binding sites for the four ligands or a proximal relationship between these binding sites.