Effects of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) on gastric wound repair were assessed. Artificial wounds of uniform size were made by mechanical cell denudation in confluent rabbit gastric mucosal cell sheets. The changes in wound size were analyzed quantitatively. The wound repair process contained an initial migration stage and a later proliferation stage. The wound was completely repaired in 36 h in controls; this repair was accelerated by HGF with the induction of cell migration followed by proliferation and was retarded by tyrosine protein kinase inhibitor genistein. HGF might play some roles in gastric ulcer healing.