Adhesion of platelets to the subendothelial matrix of an injured vessel wall is an essential step in triggering the formation of a haemostatic plug. Fibronectin, collagen and laminin are three major components of the subendothelial matrix which support platelet adhesion. Receptors for fibronectin and collagen have been identified on platelets and are included in the integrin family. Here we report that adhesion of platelets to laminin is inhibited by a rat monoclonal antibody against the integrin family member, VLA-6. This antibody does not affect platelet adhesion to fibrinogen, fibronectin or to type I and III collagen. Binding to laminin does not require platelet activation and is not inhibited by fibronectin and laminin cell-attachment peptides. Platelet adhesion to laminin is supported by Mn2+, Co2+ and Mg2+, but not by Ca2+, Zn2+ and Cu2+. This cation preference is distinct from that characteristic for other platelet-adhesive glycoproteins.