Basic fibroblast growth factor is a member of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family. FGF family members possess broad mitogenic and cell survival activities, and are involved in a variety of biological processes, including embryonic development, cell growth, morphogenesis, tissue repair, tumor growth and invasion. This protein functions as a modifier of endothelial cell migration and proliferation, as well as an angiogenic factor. It acts as a mitogen for a variety of mesoderm- and neuroectoderm-derived cells in vitro, thus is thought to be involved in organogenesis. Three alternatively spliced variants encoding different isoforms have been described. The heparin-binding growth factors are angiogenic agents in vivo and are potent mitogens for a variety of cell types in vitro. There are differences in the tissue distribution and concentration of these 2 growth factors.