This study investigated the effects of the selective peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α (PPAR-α) agonist WY14643 on ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury in the rat hippocampus. Transient cerebral ischemia (30 min), followed by 1–24 h reperfusion, significantly increased the generation of reactive oxygen species, nitric oxide (NO), and lipid peroxidation end-products, as well as markedly reducing levels of the endogenous antioxidant glutathione. Reperfusion for 3–6 h led to increased expression of the proteins heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), inducible NO synthase (iNOS), and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1). Pretreatment with WY14643 suppressed oxidative stress and expression of HO-1, iNOS, and ICAM-1, but had no effect on COX-2. These effects are due to suppression of the activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and nuclear factor-κB. The PPAR-α antagonist MK886 abolished the beneficial effects of WY14643. The levels of S100B protein, a marker of cerebral injury used in stroke trials to monitor injury, were high in the hippocampus of rats exposed to I/R, but markedly reduced by WY14643. We propose that WY14643 protects the brain against excessive oxidative stress and inflammation and may thus be useful in treating stroke.