Platelets aggregate in response to an adhesin and the platelet aggregation-associated protein (PAAP) expressed on the cell surfaces of certain strains of Streptococcus sanguis. We sought to identify the corresponding PAAP receptor and accessory adhesin binding sites on platelets. Since the adhesin(s) of S. sanguis for platelets has not been characterized, an anti-idiotype (anti-id) murine monoclonal antibody (MAb2) strategy was developed. First, MAb1s that distinguished the adhesin and PAAP antigens on the surface of S. sanguis I 133-79 were selected. Fab fragments of MAb1.2 (immunoglobulin G2b [IgG2b]; 70 pmol) reacted with 5 x 107 cells of S. sanguis to completely inhibit the aggregation of human platelets in plasma. Under similar conditions, MAb1.1 (IgG1) inhibited the adhesion of S. sanguis cells to platelets by a maximum of 34%, with a comparatively small effect on platelet aggregation. Together, these two MAb1s inhibited S. sanguis- platelet adhesion by 63%. In Western immunoblots, both MAb1s reacted with S. sanguis 133-79 87- and 150-kDa surface proteins and MAb1.2 also reacted with purified type I collagen. The hybridomas producing MAb1.1 and MAb1.2 were then injected into BALB/c mice. Enlarged spleens were harvested, and a panel of MAb2 hybridomas was prepared. To identify anti-ids against the specific MAb1s, the MAb2 panel was screened by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for reaction with rabbit polyclonal IgG antibodies against the 87- and 150-kDa antigens. The reactions between the specific rabbit antibodies and anti-ids were inhibited by the 87- and 150-kDa antigens. When preincubated with platelets, MAb2.1 (counterpart of MAb1.1) inhibited adhesion to platelets maximally by 46% and MAb2.2 (anti-MAb1.2) inhibited adhesion to platelets maximally by 35%. Together, both MAb2s inhibited the adhesion of S. sanguis to platelets by 81%. MAb2.2 also inhibited induction of platelet aggregation. MAb2.2 immunoprecipitated a biotinylated platelet membrane antigen of 170 kDa (unreduced); MAb2.1 precipitated membrane antigens of 175- and 230-kDa (unreduced). Therefore, platelet binding sites and the receptor for the S. sanguis adhesin and PAAP, respectively, are distinguished by the anti-id MAb2s.