We investigated the neuroprotective effects of pre- and postconditioning on infarct volume in the transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) model in rats. Thirty-two male rats were divided into occlusion, preconditioning, postconditioning and both pre- and postconditioning groups. MCAo (120 minutes) was monitored with continuous cerebral tissue oxygen (O-2) pressure (PtiO(2)). Pre-conditioning comprised 10 minutes of MC-Ao, 24 hours prior to the 120 minute MCAo. The postconditioning algorithm was 30 seconds of reperfusion followed by 30 seconds of MCAo. This cycle was repeated 3 times at the onset of reperfusion. Comparison of infarct volumes showed a significant difference between the conditioned groups and occlusion group. Although there was better protection in the preconditioning group compared with the other two conditioned groups, the results did not reach statistically significant levels. The results suggest that preconditioning, postconditioning and pre/post conditioning have protective effects on cerebral ischemia. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.