Preservation of platelet integrity and responsiveness was examined in platelet concentrates prepared in the presence of various formulations and combinations of platelet-activation inhibitors affecting intracellular levels of cyclic 3′–5′ adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). Platelet concentrates were prepared and stored in an artificial medium for two weeks at 22 degrees C. Markers of metabolic activity (pH, lactate, pO2, pCO2 in the medium), aggregation response, hypotonic shock response, and glycoprotein Ib (GPIb) expression were assessed along with direct measurements of cAMP in platelet pellets and thromboxane B2 (TxB2) in the supernate. The platelet concentrates prepared with only adenylate-cyclase stimulators (prostaglandin E-1 or forskolin) showed less maintenance of the integrity and responsiveness markers and greater loss of GPIb than concentrates prepared with phosphodiesterase inhibitors (theophylline or caffeine) or combinations with the above. These results were correlated with the ability of these compounds to sustain elevation of cAMP above basal level during the entire extended-storage period. The strong correlation (rs = -0.67) between elevation of cAMP levels and suppression of TxB2 production suggests that the phosphodiesterase inhibitors provided better protection than stimulators of adenylate cyclase alone through a reduction in platelet activation and its deleterious effects on preservation of platelets during storage.