Despite the growing understanding of pdgf signaling, studies of pdgf function have encountered two major obstacles the functional redundancy of PDGFRalpha and PDGFRbeta in vitro and their distinct roles in vivo. Here we used wild-type mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEF), MEF null for either PDGFRalpha, beta, or both to dissect PDGF-PDGFR signaling pathways. These four PDGFR genetically defined cells provided us a platform to study the relative contributions of the pathways triggered by the two PDGF receptors. They were treated with PDGF-BB and analyzed for differential gene expression, in vitro proliferation and differential response to pharmacological effects. No genes were differentially expressed in the double null cells, suggesting minimal receptor-independent signaling. Protean differentiation and proliferation pathways are commonly regulated by PDGFRalpha, PDGFRbeta and PDGFRalpha/beta while each receptor is also responsible for regulating unique signaling pathways. Furthermore, some signaling is solely modulated through heterodimeric PDGFRalpha/beta.