Very late activation antigens (VLAs) are glycoproteins (GPs) that play a major role in platelet adhesion to extracellular matrix. These GPs, members of the integrin family, are heterodimer complexes with different alpha subunits noncovalently associated with a common beta 1 subunit known as GPIIa. GPIa-IIa (also known as VLA2), GPIc-IIa (VLA5), and GPIc*-IIa (VLA6) are involved, respectively, in platelet adhesion to collagen, fibronectin, and laminin. At this stage, very little is known about the role of GPIIa in platelet adhesive functions. In this study, we have generated a monoclonal antibody (MoAb) (LYP22) directed against GPIIa. Immunoaffinity chromatography using LYP22 combined with two-dimensional nonreduced-reduced sodium dodecyl sulfate- polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis shows that the antibody brings down all VLA subunits. Western blots indicate that the binding site of LYP22 on GPIIa is disulfide bridge-dependent. The number of LYP22 binding sites is not increased on stimulation with thrombin and is in the range of what is observed with another anti-GPIIa MoAb (A-1A5). LYP22 is the first anti-GPIIa MoAb to inhibit aggregation and secretion of washed platelets stimulated with collagen, thrombin, or arachidonic acid. Moreover, the lag-phase usually observed on collagen stimulation is significantly prolonged (by 60 seconds) in the presence of LYP22. This lag-phase, mediated by LYP22, is also observed in the presence of plasma proteins and is coupled with a reduced effect on collagen- induced platelet aggregation. In addition, LYP22 affects the adhesion of resting platelets to type III collagen, but not to fibronectin, laminin, or type I collagen. These results strongly indicate that the site on GPIIa, bearing the LYP22 epitope, is an active participant in signal transduction controlling platelet functions.