This study investigated the changes in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression and the role of furin in BDNF maturation in reactive astrocytes from rats exposed to oxygen–glucose deprivation (OGD). Furin, a proprotein convertase, is upregulated and cleaves certain substrates during hypoxia in cancer cells. In addition, during hypoxia in the central nervous system, astrocytes become reactive and release BDNF to protect neurons. Maturation of BDNF in astrocytes requires furin-mediated endoproteolytic processing of the precursor protein pro-BDNF to BDNF. To expand our knowledge about the role of furin in BDNF maturation in astrocytes, these cells were exposed to OGD, and expression of furin and BDNF was detected by Western blot analysis. Changes in BDNF expression were observed when furin activity was inhibited by furin prosegment. We found that protein expression of BDNF and furin was upregulated, and this upregulation correlated with OGD stimulation. Furin inhibition reduced BDNF maturation and secretion. These results indicate that furin mediates the upregulation of BDNF in reactive astrocytes exposed to OGD and that furin may impact the biological effect of reactive astrocytes. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.