Using transgenic mice constitutively expressing the human inducible Hsp70, we examined the role of Hsp70 on cell survival after focal cerebral oschemia. Twenty-four hours after premanent occlusion of the middle cerebral artery, no difference in infarct area was detected between Hsp70-transgenic and non-transgenic mice. In the non-transgenic mice, many pyramidal neurons of the ipsilateral hippocampus were observed to be pykontic. However, in all Hsp70-transgenic mice, hippocampal pyramidal neurons showed normal morphology and no evidence of pyknosis. This suggests that constitutive expression of Hsp70 reduces the extent of damage following permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion.