Both vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and integrin alpha(v)beta3 play roles in angiogenesis. In noncerebral vascular systems, VEGF can induce endothelial integrin alpha(v)beta3 expression. However, it is unknown whether VEGF, like integrin alpha(v)beta3, appears in the initial response of microvessels to focal brain ischemia. Their coordinate expression in microvessels of the basal ganglia after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in the nonhuman primate model was examined quantitatively. Cells incorporating deoxyuridine triphosphate (dUTP+) by the polymerase I reaction at 1 hour (n = 3), 2 hours (n = 3), and 7 days (n = 4) after MCAO defined the ischemic core (Ic) and peripheral regions. Both VEGF and integrin alpha(v)beta3 were expressed by activated noncapillary (7.5- to 30.0-microm diameter) microvessels in the Ic region at 1 and 2 hours after MCAO. At 7 days after MCAO, the number of VEGF+, integrin alpha(v)beta3+, or proliferating cell nuclear antigen-positive microvessels had decreased within the Ic region. The expressions of VEGF, integrin alpha(v)beta3, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen were highly correlated on the same microvessels using hierarchical log-linear statistical models. Also, VEGF and subunit alpha(v) messenger ribonucleic acids were coexpressed on selected microvessels. Here, noncapillary microvessels are activated specifically early during a focal cerebral ischemic insult and rapidly express VEGF and integrin alpha(v)beta3 together.