Significantly decreased platelet serotonin contents were measured in rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), progressive systemic sclerosis, and mixed connective tissue disease. An inverse relationship between platelet serotonin levels and clinical disease activity was observed in both rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. SLE patients with multiple organ involvement showed the lowest platelet serotonin values. No correlation was observed between platelet serotonin contents and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug treatment, presence of circulating platelet reactive IgG, or the amount of circulating immune complexes. The results are interpreted as indicating platelet release occurring in vivo during inflammatory episodes of the rheumatic disorders investigated.