Disruption of a restricted area of the pia-arachnoid compromises vascular irrigation of the underlying cortex, leading to infarction of the tissue. This study was undertaken to examine the effects of such brain injury on glial cells. Adult male Wistar rats were processed for glial fibrillary acidic protein immunoreactivity at 1, 4, 7, 15 and 30 days after undergoing cortical devascularization. One day post-lesion, glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive cells were observed only at the lesion site. Glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive cells were present in the ipsilateral remaining cortex, distant from the wound, between days 4 and 15, and were also evident in the thalamus beginning 4 days post-lesion. These diverse temporal patterns of GFAP immunoreactivity in different brain structures suggest that various mechanisms can mediate increased GFAP immunostaining following injury.