A panel of four murine monoclonal IgG1 antibodies (mAbs) to a recombinant form of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) was produced using somatic cell fusion techniques. Non-linear regression analysis of radioimmunoassay data for each mAb yielded the following dissociation constants (nM) for their interactions with bFGF: DE6 (0.822); AF11 (2.0); FE8 (2.31); and DG2 (20.0). One of the mAbs, DG2, was identified as a bFGF neutralizing antibody on the basis of its ability to inhibit, in vitro, the binding of [125I]-bFGF to high and low affinity bFGF sites on cultured baby hamster kidney cells and bFGF-induced [3H]-thymidine incorporation in cultured 3T3 cells, and in vivo, the angiogenic response to bFGF in a rat kidney capsule model of angiogenesis. The other mAbs displayed varying inhibitory activities in these assays. These mAbs, particularly DG2, may be well suited for a number of applications in bFGF research including immunoassays, immunohistochemical studies, and as functional antagonists of bFGF for examining its role in physiological processes such as reproduction, growth, and development.