Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) initiates an inflammatory response with secondary growth of hemorrhage and cell death. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) gelatinolytic activity is increased in ICH, and synthetic inhibitors to MMPs reduce edema and hemorrhage size. Recently, we found that tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-3 (TIMP-3) is elevated after ischemia and colocalizes with TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated 2'-deoxyuridine 5'-triphosphate-biotin nick end-labeled)-labeled cells. Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-3 promotes neuronal apoptosis in vitro by blocking the shedding of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily of death receptors/ligands by stromelysin-1 (MMP-3). However, the effect of TIMP-3 and synthetic MMP inhibitors on cell death in ICH is unclear. Therefore, we used the collagenase-induced intracerebral hemorrhage (CIH) model in Timp-3 knockout and C57Bl/6 wild-type mice to study MMP expression, hemorrhage volume, and cell death. Real-time PCR showed an increase in Mmp-3 mRNA in CIH, but similar Mmp-2 and -9 mRNA expression levels in CIH and saline-injected mice. Protein levels of pro and cleaved MMP-3 were increased in CIH, and zymographic gelatinolytic activity of MMP-9 was elevated after CIH at 72 h, suggesting an exogenous source. Apoptosis was shown by increased caspase-3 levels at 2 and 72 h, and active caspase-8 by 2 and 24 h. The Timp-3 null mouse and wild types had similar hemorrhage sizes and TUNEL-labeled cells. Unexpectedly, the broad-spectrum MMP inhibitor BB-94 increased hemorrhage size and TUNEL-labeled cells. Our results fail to implicate TIMP-3 in apoptosis in CIH, but show that BB-94 increased apoptosis in CIH, possibly by blocking shedding of TNF death receptors and/or their ligands.