Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) is a member of a water-selective channel aquaporin-family and mainly expressed in the several structures of the brain and in the collecting duct of the kidney. Here we show its functional involvement in the water homeostasis of the ischemic brain. The expression of AQP4-mRNA is increased in the peri-infarcted cortex during the observation period ( approximately 7 days) after MCA-occlusion, maximally on day 3. The change corresponds to the generation and resolution of brain edema monitored by MRI. The signals for the mRNA are predominantly observed in glial cells in the molecular and outer granular layer of the peri-infarcted cortex. These results indicate that AQP4 plays a role in post-ischemic edema formation.