Intravenous administration of human bone marrow stromal cells (hMSCs) after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) in rats provides functional benefit. We tested the hypothesis that these functional benefits are derived in part from hMSC production of growth and trophic factors. Quantitative sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) of hMSCs cultured with normal and MCAo brain extracts were performed. hMSCs cultured in supernatant derived from ischemic brain extracts increased production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), nerve growth factor (NGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). These neurotrophins and angiogenic growth factors increased in a post-ischemia time-dependent manner. The hMSC capacity to increase expression of growth and trophic factors may be the key to the benefit provided by transplanted hMSCs in the ischemic brain.