The role of the Gi-coupled platelet P2Y12 receptor in platelet function has been well established. However, the functional effector or effectors contributing directly to αIIbβ3 activation in human platelets has not been delineated. As the P2Y12 receptor has been shown to activate G protein-gated, inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channels, we investigated whether GIRK channels mediate any of the functional responses of the platelet P2Y12 receptor. Western blot analysis revealed that platelets express GIRK1, GIRK2, and GIRK4. In aspirin-treated and washed human platelets, 2 structurally distinct GIRK inhibitors, SCH23390 (R(+)-7-chloro-8-hydroxy-3-methyl-1-phenyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-1H-3-benzazepine hydrochloride) and U50488H (trans-(±)-3,4-dichloro-N-methyl-N-[2- (pyrrolidinyl)cyclohexyl] benzeneacetamide methanesulfonate), inhibited adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-, 2-methylthioADP (2-MeSADP)-, U46619-, and low-dose thrombin-mediated platelet aggregation. However, the GIRK channel inhibitors did not affect platelet aggregation induced by high concentrations of thrombin, AYPGKF, or convulxin. Furthermore, the GIRK channel inhibitors reversed SFLLRN-induced platelet aggregation, inhibited the P2Y12-mediated potentiation of dense granule secretion and Akt phosphorylation, and did not affect the agonist-induced Gq-mediated platelet shape change and intracellular calcium mobilization. Unlike AR-C 69931MX, a P2Y12 receptor-selective antagonist, the GIRK channel blockers did not affect the ADP-induced adenlylyl cyclase inhibition, indicating that they do not directly antagonize the P2Y12 receptor. We conclude that GIRK channels are important functional effectors of the P2Y12 receptor in human platelets.