Evidence has been mounting for peripheral functions for tachykinins, a family of neuropeptides including substance P (SP), neurokinin A, and neurokinin B, which are recognized for their roles in the central and peripheral nervous system. The recent discovery of 4 new members of this family, the endokinins (EKA, B, C, and D), which are distributed peripherally, adds support to the notion that tachykinins have physiologic/endocrine roles in the periphery. In the present study we report a fundamental new function for tachykinins in the regulation of platelet function. We show that SP stimulates platelet aggregation, and underlying this is the intracellular mobilization of calcium and degranulation. We demonstrate the presence of the tachykinin receptors NK1 and NK3 in platelets and present evidence for the involvement of NK1 in SP-mediated platelet aggregation. Platelets were found to contain SP-like immunoreactivity that is secreted upon activation implicating SP-like substances in the autocrine/paracrine regulation of these cells. Indeed, NK1-blocking antibodies inhibited aggregation in response to other agonists. Of particular note is the observation that EKA/B cross-react in the SP immunoassay and are also able to stimulate platelet activation. Together our data implicate tachykinins, specifically SP and EKA/B, in the regulation of platelet function.