Galectin-1 (gal-1) is a carbohydrate-binding lectin with important functions in angiogenesis, immune response, hemostasis and inflammation. Comparable functions are exerted by platelet factor 4 (CXCL4), a chemokine stored in the alpha-granules of platelets. Previously, gal-1 was found to activate platelets through integrin alpha(IIb)beta(3). Both gal-1 and CXCL4 have high affinities for polysaccharides, and thus may mutually influence their functions. The aim of this study was to investigate a possible synergism of gal-1 and CXCL4 in platelet activation. Platelets were treated with increasing concentrations of gal-1, CXCL4 or both, and aggregation, integrin activation, P-selectin and phosphatidyl serine (PS) exposure were determined by light transmission aggregometry and by flow cytometry. To investigate the influence of cell surface sialic acid, platelets were treated with neuraminidase prior to stimulation. Gal-1 and CXCL4 were found to colocalize on the platelet surface. Stimulation with gal-1 led to integrin alpha(IIb)beta(3) activation and to robust platelet aggregation, while CXCL4 weakly triggered aggregation and primarily induced P-selectin expression. Co-incubation of gal-1 and CXCL4 potentiated platelet aggregation compared with gal-1 alone. Whereas neither gal-1 and CXCL4 induced PS-exposure on platelets, prior removal of surface sialic acid strongly potentiated PS exposure. In addition, neuraminidase treatment increased the binding of gal-1 to platelets and lowered the activation threshold for gal-1. However, CXCL4 did not affect binding of gal-1 to platelets. Taken together, stimulation of platelets with gal-1 and CXCL4 led to distinct and complementary activation profiles, with additive rather than synergistic effects.