Platelet hyperaggregability plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases. Thrombin evokes aggregation through Ca(2+) mobilization, tyrosine phosphorylation and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We have investigated the antiaggregant properties of Arbutus unedo extracts in human platelets. Changes in cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration and intracellular oxidants production were registered by espectrofluorimetry using fura-2 and dichlorodihydrofluorescein, respectively, platelet aggregation was assessed by aggregometry and protein tyrosine phosphorylation was detected by Western blotting. Platelet treatment with increasing concentrations (0.015-1.5mg/mL) of crude aqueous, ethyl acetate or diethyl ether extracts reduced platelet aggregation evoked by thrombin (0.5 U/mL) and show a potent ROS scavenger activity, preventing thrombin-evoked endogenous generation of ROS. Treatment with Arbutus unedo extracts did not alter thrombin-evoked Ca(2+) release from the intracellular stores but reduced store-operated Ca(2+) entry induced by thrombin or by selective depletion of the two Ca(2+) stores in platelets, the dense tubular system and the acidic stores. In addition, platelet treatment with extracts reduced both basal and thrombin-stimulated protein tyrosine phosphorylation. We conclude that Arbutus unedo extracts show antiaggregant actions due to attenuation of Ca(2+) mobilization, ROS production and protein tyrosine phosphorylation and might be used for the treatment and/or prevention of cardiovascular diseases.