Spontaneously hypertensive stroke-prone rats (SHRSP), a model for genetic stroke susceptibility, suffer spontaneous stroke and enhanced injury after experimental stroke, in part due to abnormal cerebrovascular development. We hypothesized that angiopoietin system genes in SHRSP may follow unique patterns of expression after experimentally induced stroke. SHRSP, hypertensive control rats (SHR), and normotensive controls (WKY) were subjected to experimental middle cerebral artery occlusion, and brain RNA was analyzed for expression of angiogenic genes. Expression of angiopoietin-2 increased after stroke in all rat strains and was significantly enhanced in SHRSP compared with control strains. In addition, expression of angiopoietin-1 and the angiopoietin receptor dropped markedly after stroke in SHRSP animals, but was not different after ischemia in SHR and WKY strains. Thus, the SHRSP brain elaborates a unique and specific pattern of angiopoietin system gene expression after stroke which may underlie stroke susceptibility of these rats.