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Background: Basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF2) is a wide-spectrum mitogenic, angiogenic, and neurotrophic factor that is expressed at low levels in many tissues and cell types and reaches high concentrations in brain and pituitary. FGF2 has been implicated in a multitude of physiologic and pathologic processes, including limb development, angiogenesis, wound healing, and tumor growth (1). It is also an important modulator of cartilage and bone growth and differentiation (2). FGF2 consists of multiple protein isoforms produced by alternative translation from the FGF2 gene. High molecular weight FGF2 isoforms are not secreted from the cell, but are transported to the nucleus where they regulate cell growth or behavior in an intracrine fashion. 18 kDa FGF2 can be secreted to the extracellular medium where it acts as a conventional growth factor by binding to and activation of cell-surface receptors (3, 4). These protein isoforms are localized to different cellular compartments, indicating unique biological activity. FGF2 isoforms in the heart have distinct roles in many pathological circumstances in the heart including cardiac hypertrophy, ischemia-reperfusion injury, and atherosclerosis (4).