We questioned if acute administration of n-3 fatty acids (FA) carried in n-3 rich triglyceride (TG) emulsions provides neuroprotection in neonatal mice subjected to hypoxic-ischemic (H/I) brain injury. We examined specificity of FA, optimal doses, and therapeutic windows for neuroprotection after H/I. H/I insult was induced in C57BL/6J 10-day-old mice by right carotid artery ligation followed by exposure to 8% O(2) for 15 minutes at 37°C. Intraperitoneal injection with n-3-rich TG emulsions, n-6 rich TG emulsions or saline for control was administered at different time points before and/or after H/I. In separate experiments, dose responses were determined with TG containing only docosahexaenoic acid (Tri-DHA) or eicosapentaenoic acid (Tri-EPA) with a range of 0.1-0.375 g n-3 TG/kg, administered immediately after H/I insult. Infarct volume and cerebral blood flow (CBF) were measured. Treatment with n-3 TG emulsions both before- and after- H/I significantly reduced total infarct volume by a mean of 43% when administered 90 min prior to H/I and by 47% when administered immediately after H/I. In post-H/I experiments Tri-DHA, but not Tri-EPA exhibited neuroprotective effects with both low and high doses (p<0.05). Moreover, delayed post-H/I treatment with Tri-DHA significantly decreased total infarct volume by a mean of 51% when administered at 0 hr, by 46% at 1 hr, and by 51% at 2 hr after H/I insult. No protective effect occurred with Tri-DHA injection at 4 hr after H/I. There were no n-3 TG related differences in CBF. A significant reduction in brain tissue death was maintained after Tri-DHA injection at 8 wk after the initial brain injury. Thus, n-3 TG, specifically containing DHA, is protective against H/I induced brain infarction when administered up to 2 hr after H/I injury. Acute administration of TG-rich DHA may prove effective for treatment of stroke in humans.