The His131Arg polymorphism of platelet FcgammaRIIA affects the binding affinity of certain IgG subclasses. The Arg131 allele has been associated with (auto)immune thrombocytopenia and heparin-induced thrombocytopenia in some studies. Because FcgammaRIIA can transmit platelet activation signals, we studied platelet responsiveness from 73 healthy donors to determine if this polymorphism modulated platelet function. Platelet function was studied by agonist and shear-induced activation, and standard aggregation. FcgammaRIIA was genotyped by allele-specific PCR. Compared with His131, the Arg131 allele was associated with significantly greater binding of activation-dependent antibodies. This effect was most prominent for the receptor-induced binding site (RIBS) antibodies F26 (P < 0.0001) and RIBS1 (P = 0.0057), and the ligand-induced binding site antibody LIBS1 (P = 0.0367). Unexpectedly, Arg131-positive platelets did not show greater fibrinogen binding, platelet aggregation or shear-induced platelet activation. We considered whether enhanced Fc binding and FcgammaRIIA cross-linking were responsible for those discrepancies. The increased binding of the two RIBS antibodies to the Arg131 isoform was abolished by blocking FcgammaRIIA, and the FcgammaRIIA genotype effect on F26 IgG binding was lost when F26 F(ab')2 fragments were used. Furthermore, intact F26 and RIBS1 IgG directly and specifically induced P-selectin expression, and this effect was greatest in Arg131-positive platelets. We concluded that (a) the His131Arg polymorphism of FcgammaRIIA does not affect intrinsic platelet reactivity; (b) RIBS antibodies are able to cross-link FcgammaRIIA and activate platelets, and this activation has a modest effect on Arg131 platelets; and (c) flow cytometric based platelet assays may need to compensate for this FcgammaRIIA His131Arg effect on platelet activation.