Thalidomide, clinically used as an antiinflammatory and antitumoral drug, inhibited sponge-induced angiogenesis when administered systemically (100 mg/kg(-1)) in mice. However, it failed to inhibit solid Ehrlich tumor in the same mouse strain. We have used functional, biochemical and histological parameters to assess neovascularization and fibrovascular tissue infiltration of the mice sponge granuloma. The neovascularization growth as detected by development of blood flow and hemoglobin content extracted from the implants showed that thalidomide inhibited fibrovascular tissue formation by 40%. The functional and biochemical parameters correlated well with the histological study. Thalidomide had no inhibitory effect in the development of Ehrlich tumor. The detection of this selective action using the same animal strain bearing two different processes, supports the hypothesis that rather than species specificity, thalidomide is tissue specific. This approach may be used to identify the specificity of other therapeutic agents against distinct angiogenesis-dependent diseases.