| Our main findings follow. (1) Patients with unstable angina had significantly raised serum levels of sCD40L when compared with patients with stable angina and controls. (2) Platelets could release large amounts of sCD40L when stimulated ex vivo with the thrombin receptor-agonist peptide SFLLRN in both patients and controls. (3) Platelets in patients with unstable angina were characterized ex vivo by decreased intracellular levels and decreased SFLLRN-stimulated release of sCD40L, which may possibly represent a higher percentage of degranulated platelets in these patients. (4) T cells in patients with unstable angina had enhanced surface expression of CD40L and increased release of sCD40L on anti-CD3/anti-CD28 stimulation in vitro when compared with patients with stable angina and controls. (5) Recombinant CD40L and serum from patients with unstable angina who had high sCD40L levels induced enhanced release of monocyte chemoattractant peptide-1 from mononuclear cells, a CC-chemokine involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis.