Thrombin exerts a number of effects on skeletal myoblasts in vitro. It stimulates proliferation and intracellular calcium mobilization and inhibits differentiation and apoptosis induced by serum deprivation in these cells. Many cellular responses to thrombin are mediated by protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR-1). Expression of PAR-1 is present in mononuclear myoblasts in vitro, but repressed when fusion occurs to form myotubes. In the current study, we used PAR-1-null mice to determine which of thrombin's effects on myoblasts are mediated by PAR-1. Thrombin inhibited fusion almost as effectively in cultures prepared from the muscle of PAR-1-null myoblasts as in cultures prepared from wild-type mice. Apoptosis was inhibited as effectively in PAR-1-null myoblasts as in wild-type myoblasts. These effects in PAR-1-null myoblasts were mediated by a secreted inhibitor of apoptosis and fusion, as demonstrated previously for normal rat myoblasts. Thrombin failed to induce an intracellular calcium response in PAR-1-null myoblast cultures, although these cells were able to mobilize intracellular calcium in response to activation of other receptors. PAR-1-null myoblasts also failed to proliferate in response to thrombin. These results demonstrate that thrombin's effects on myoblast apoptosis and fusion are not mediated by PAR-1 and that PAR-1 is the only thrombin receptor capable of inducing proliferation and calcium mobilization in neonatal mouse myoblasts.