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Aging and hypertension, comorbidities prevalent in the stroke population, are associated with poor collateral status and worsened stroke outcome. However, underlying mechanisms by which these conditions affect stroke outcome are not clear. We studied the role of PAI (plasminogen activator inhibitor)-1 that is increased in aging and hypertension on brain and vascular expression of inflammatory factors and perfusion that may contribute to worse stroke outcomes.Aged (≈50 weeks) and young (≈18 weeks) spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) were subjected to ischemia by middle cerebral artery occlusion (2 hours) and reperfusion (2 hours) with or without treatment with the PAI-1 inhibitor TM5441. Changes in middle cerebral artery and collateral perfusion territories were measured by multisite laser Doppler. Reactivity to TM5441 was studied using isolated and pressurized leptomeningeal anastomotic arterioles. Brain injury was determined by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium staining and quantitative immunohistochemistry of amyloid-β-42, PAI-1, and hemoglobin. Circulating inflammatory factors were measured by ELISA.Changes in cerebral blood flow during middle cerebral artery occlusion were similar between groups, with both having poor collateral perfusion and incomplete reperfusion. However, aged SHR had greater brain injury versus young (41±2 versus 23±2%, P<0.05) as well as increased brain deposition of amyloid-β-42 and circulating oxLDL (oxidized low-density lipoprotein). Erythrocyte aggregation and hemorrhage within the injured brain was observed in 50% of aged but no young SHR, with increased circulating PAI-1 in this subgroup of aged SHR (16±3 versus 6±2 ng/mL, P<0.05). PAI-1 inhibition with TM5441 improved brain injury but did not affect hemorrhage. TM5441 increased collateral perfusion by 38±7% and dilated leptomeningeal anastomotic arterioles by 44±10%, which was abolished by nitric oxide synthase inhibition.Increased injury in aged SHR seemed to be related to poor collateral perfusion, hemorrhagic transformation, increased amyloid-β-42, and oxidative stress. PAI-1 inhibition reduced infarction in both groups of SHR that possibly due, in part, to increased collateral perfusion.