Volatile anesthetic ischemic postconditioning reduces infarct size following ischemia/reperfusion. Whether phosphorylation of protein kinase B (PKB/Akt) and glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3beta) is causal for cardioprotection by postconditioning is controversial. We therefore investigated the impact of PKB/Akt and GSK3beta in isolated perfused rat hearts subjected to 40 min of ischemia followed by 1 h of reperfusion. 2.0% sevoflurane (1.0 minimum alveolar concentration) was administered at the onset of reperfusion in 15 min as postconditioning. Western blot analysis was used to determine phosphorylation of PKB/Akt and its downstream target GSK3beta after 1 h of reperfusion. Mitochondrial and cytosolic content of cytochrome C checked by western blot served as a marker for mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening. Sevoflurane postconditioning significantly improved functional cardiac recovery and decreased infarct size in isolated rat hearts. Compared with unprotected hearts, sevoflurane postconditioning-induced phosphorylation of PKB/Akt and GSK3beta were significantly increased. Increase of cytochrome C in mitochondria and decrease of it in cytosol is significant when compared with unprotected ones which have reversal effects on cytochrome C. The current study presents evidence that sevoflurane-induced cardioprotection at the onset of reperfusion are partly through activation of PKB/Akt and GSK3beta.