YC-1 [3-(5'-hydroxymethyl-2'-furyl)-1-benzylindazole] inhibited the aggregation of and ATP release from washed rabbit platelets induced by arachidonic acid (AA), collagen, U46619, platelet-activating factor (PAF), and thrombin in a concentration-dependent manner. YC-1 also disaggregated the clumped platelets caused by these inducers. The thromboxane B2 formation caused by collagen, PAF, and thrombin was inhibited by concentrations of YC-1 that did not affect formation of thromboxane B2 and prostaglandin D2 caused by AA. YC-1 suppressed the increase of intracellular Ca2+ concentration and generation of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate caused by these five aggregation inducers. Both the cAMP and cGMP contents of platelets were increased by YC-1 in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Like sodium nitroprusside, YC- 1 potentiated formation of cAMP caused by prostaglandin E1 but not that by 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine. Adenylate cyclase and cAMP phosphodiesterase activities were not altered by YC-1. Activity of cGMP phosphodiesterase was unaffected by YC-1. Activities of guanylate cyclase in platelet homogenate and cytosolic fraction were activated by YC-1, whereas particulate guanylate cyclase activity was unaffected. The antiplatelet effect of sodium nitroprusside but not that of YC-1 was blocked by hemoglobin and potentiated by superoxide dismutase. After intraperitoneal administration for 30 minutes, YC-1 prolonged the tail bleeding time of conscious mice. These data indicate that YC-1 is a direct soluble guanylate cyclase activator in rabbit platelets. It may also possess antithrombotic potential in vivo.