Angiogenesis is reportedly enhanced by prostaglandins (PGs). In the present study, we investigated whether or not cyclo-oxygenase (COX)-2 mediated angiogenesis in chronic and proliferate granuloma. In rat sponge implants, angiogenesis was gradually developed over a 14-day experimental period as granuloma formed. This angiogenesis was enhanced by topical injections of human recombinant basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). In sponge granuloma, mRNA of COX-1 was constitutively expressed, whereas that of COX-2 was increased with neovascularization in parallel with that of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Topical injections of bFGF increased the expression of COX-2 mRNA. bFGF-stimulated angiogenesis was inhibited by indomethacin or selective COX-2 inhibitors, NS-398, nimesulide, and JTE-522. The levels of PGE(2) and 6-keto-PGF(1alpha) in the sponge granuloma were increased with bFGF 13 fold and 9 fold, respectively, and these levels were markedly reduced by NS-398. The expression of VEGF mRNA in the granuloma was also enhanced by bFGF, and was reduced by NS-398. Topical injections of PGE(2) and beraprost sodium, a PGI(2) analogue, increased the expression of VEGF mRNA, with angiogenesis enhancement. The enhanced angiogenesis by bFGF was significantly inhibited by topical injections of VEGF anti-sense oligonucleotide. These results suggested that COX-2 may enhance bFGF-induced neovascularization in sponge granuloma by PG-mediated expression of VEGF, and that a COX-2 inhibitor would facilitate the management of conditions involving angiogenesis.