Stimulation of human or rabbit platelets with thrombin in the presence of fibrinogen caused a large decrease, compared with unstimulated controls, in the amount of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) that could be extracted with acidified chloroform/methanol (60% at 60 s). In contrast, stimulation in the absence of added fibrinogen increased the amount of PIP2. The decrease was specific for PIP2, because similar decreases could not be demonstrated for other phosphoinositides or phospholipids. The interaction of polymerizing fibrin with stimulated platelets was required for the decrease in PIP2, since polymerized fibrin formed by reptilase did not cause the decrease in the amount of extractable PIP2, and inhibition by glycyl-L-prolyl-L-arginyl-L-proline of polymerization of fibrin formed by the action of thrombin prevented the large decrease in extractable PIP2. The decrease in extractable PIP2 could not be explained by increased degradation of PIP2, since sufficient degradation products were not formed. Thus, when platelets are stimulated with thrombin in the presence of fibrinogen, an association of polymerizing fibrin with the stimulated platelets occurs that leads to decreased extractability of PIP2. This may mean that PIP2 forms a specific association with platelet proteins that are involved in clot retraction.