TNP-470 is a synthetic analogue of fumagillin that acts as a potent angiogenesis inhibitor. Recently, our laboratory demonstrated that systemic administration of TNP-470 (5.0 mg/kg) decreased the rate of cutaneous wound healing by greater than 20%. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that TNP-470 interferes with the wound repair-stimulating action of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) by competing with endogenous bFGF for its binding sites on the receptor protein. The influence of TNP-470 was examined in vitro in a ligand competition assay of high- and low-affinity receptor binding to (125)I-bFGF in NIH/3T3 cells. Results demonstrated that recognition of (125)I-bFGF by low-affinity growth factor binding sites was significantly decreased (P < 0.01) in the presence of TNP-470. However, TNP-470 inhibition of radiolabeled bFGF binding to high-affinity sites was not significantly affected (P = 0.07). In view of recent studies demonstrating that the low-affinity receptors of bFGF were heparan sulfate proteoglycans, we suggest that the influence of TNP-470 on diminished wound healing is due to its direct recognition by these molecules.