Platelets are highly reactive components of the circulatory system with well-documented hemostatic function. Recent studies extend platelet function to modulation of local inflammatory events through the release of chemokines, cytokines, and a number of immunomodulatory ligands, including CD154. We hypothesized that platelet-derived CD154 modulates adaptive immunity. The data reported herein demonstrate that platelets, via CD154, induce dendritic cell maturation, B cell isotype switching, and augment CD8(+) T cell responses both in vitro and in vivo. Platelet transfusion studies demonstrate that platelet-derived CD154 alone is sufficient to induce isotype switching and augment T lymphocyte function during viral infection, leading to enhanced protection against viral rechallenge. Additionally, depletion of platelets in normal mice results in decreased antigen-specific antibody production.