The involvement of metabolites of arachidonic acid in platelet-dense granule secretion and secondary platelet-platelet interactions is well characterized. However, their role in heterotypic interactions dependent on alpha-granule secretion is less well understood. Using platelet-surface expression of P-selectin as a marker of alpha-granule secretion, we have shown that: (1) aspirin treatment of platelets at doses that block dense granule secretion does not inhibit alpha-granule secretion to adenosine diphosphate (ADP); (2) synergism between epinephrine and ADP in the induction of P-selectin expression is similarly unaffected by aspirin; and (3) the ability of P-selectin to mediate adhesion of activated platelets to monocytes and polymorphonuclear lymphocytes in whole blood is also unchanged by aspirin treatment. To further explore the mechanisms responsible for platelet alpha-granule secretion, we have shown that inhibition of Na+/H+ exchange by either acidification of the extracellular medium or amiloride treatment blocked ADP-induced P-selectin expression. In contrast, incubation with the platelet lipoxygenase inhibitor 5,8,11- eicosatrynoic acid, by itself and with aspirin, did not decrease ADP- induced P-selectin expression. We conclude that platelet alpha-granule secretion in response to ADP is dependent on intact Na+/H+ exchange but is independent of the lipoxygenase- and cyclooxygenase-dependent metabolites of arachidonic acid.