Platelet-rich plasma is currently promoted to serve as an adjuvant for bone grafts to enhance quantity and quality of newly forming bone; however, the underlying cellular mechanisms are not fully understood. We show here that supernatants of leukocyte-depleted thrombin-activated platelets increase migration and proliferation, and decrease osteogenic differentiation of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal progenitor cells under in vitro conditions. Using neutralizing antibodies raised against platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), the observed effects of platelet-released supernatants were diminished. The mitogenic response was also decreased when extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) signalling was inhibited by PD98059; however, PD98059 did not reverse the effects of platelet-released supernatants on migration and osteogenic differentiation. Consistent with an ERK-mediated mitogenic activity, incubation of serum-starved mesenchymal cell progenitors with platelet-released supernatants increased phosphorylation of the kinase. Together, these observations indicate that PDGF is a key factor released upon platelet activation that can increase migration and proliferation, and decreases osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal progenitor cells under in vitro conditions. The results further suggest that ERK signalling is required to mediate the mitogenic response to platelet-released supernatants.