Hydra are characterized by having their body wall organized as an epithelial bilayer with an intervening acellular layer termed the mesoglea. As an extension of the previous study which indicated that mesoglea is a primitive basement membrane which has retained some characteristics of interstitial extracellular matrix, the present study was undertaken to analyze the role of mesoglea components during head regeneration in Hydra vulgaris. Studies were conducted that utilized drugs that affect collagen processing or secondary collagen structure (beta-aminoproprionitrile; 2,2'-dipydridyl; and cis-4-hydroxy-L-proline) and a drug that inhibits addition of glycosaminoglycan chains to proteoglycan core proteins (p-nitrophenyl-beta-D-xylopyranoside). These studies indicated that alterations in the structure of collagens or proteoglycans caused blockage of head regeneration in Hydra as monitored over a 48-hr period. Blockage of head regeneration was reversible once the drugs were removed, indicating that the drugs were not having a general toxic effect on the organism. Radiotracer studies also indicated that blockage of head regeneration was not simply due to a general depression of protein synthesis by the drugs. Various controls indicated that each drug was affecting mesoglea components under the conditions utilized in these studies. These observations indicate that preservation of normal mesoglea structure is required for Hydra head regeneration to proceed.