The therapeutic window for treatment of individuals after stroke is narrow, regardless of the treatment regime; extension of this window would provide a major therapeutic advance. In prior reports, we demonstrated significant improvements in the behavioral defects of rats that received human umbilical cord blood (HUCB) cells 24 h after a middle cerebral arterial occlusion. These effects paralleled the recruitment of these cells to the site of tissue damage. While the administration of HUCB cells 24 h after stroke was effective, the optimal time to administer these cells after stroke has not been established. Here, we investigated the migration of HUCB cells to ischemic tissue extracts. After ischemic assault, brain tissue was homogenized, and the supernatants were assayed for their ability to attract HUCB mononuclear cells as well as for levels of several cytokines. We demonstrate increased migratory activity of HUCB cells toward the extracts harvested at 24-72 h after stroke. The extracts possessed increased levels of certain cytokines and chemokines, suggesting their participation in HUCB cell migration. The results from this study are promising in that the current 3-h therapeutic window for the treatment of stroke victims, using approved anticoagulant treatment, may be extended with the use of HUCB cell therapy 24-72 h post stroke. Last, the chemokines present in the supernatant provide a sound starting point to start examining the mechanisms responsible for the in vivo migration of HUCB cells after the induction of stroke.