Glycosaminoglycans synthesized by human skin fibroblasts were simultaneously radiolabelled with D-[1-(3H)]glucosamine and Na2(35)SO4. Considering 3H incorporation, we found that IFNgamma increased the production of glycosaminoglycan synthesis, including hyaluronic acid, heparan and chondroitin/dermatan sulfate. In contrast, the production of heparan and chondroitin/dermatan sulfate was slightly decreased on the basis of the 35S signal. Furthermore, when heparan sulfate was treated with nitrous acid, the release of free 35S was greater in control than in treated cells, although the 3H patterns of depolymerization with this agent were similar. These data demonstrate that IFNgamma inhibits the incorporation of sulfate from extracellular medium into heparan sulfate.