Ischemic stroke triggers lipid peroxidation and neuronal injury. Docosahexaenoic acid released from membrane phospholipids during brain ischemia is a major source of lipid peroxides. Leukocyte infiltration and pro-inflammatory gene expression also contribute to stroke damage. In this study using lipidomic analysis, we have identified stereospecific messengers from docosahexaenoate-oxygenation pathways in a mouse stroke model. Aspirin, widely used to prevent cerebrovascular disease, activates an additional pathway, which includes the 17R-resolvins. The newly discovered brain messenger 10,17S-docosatriene potently inhibited leukocyte infiltration, NFkappaB, and cyclooxygenase-2 induction in experimental stroke and elicited neuroprotection. In addition, in neural cells in culture, this lipid messenger also inhibited both interleukin 1-beta-induced NFkappaB activation and cyclooxygenase-2 expression. Thus, the specific novel bioactive docosanoids generated in vivo counteract leukocyte-mediated injury as well as pro-inflammatory gene induction. These results challenge the view that docosahexaenoate only participates in brain damage and demonstrate that this fatty acid is also the endogenous precursor to a neuroprotective signaling response to ischemia-reperfusion.