Reduction of subcortical (A), cortical (B) and total (C) infarct volumes by the cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor nimesulide (12 mg/kg; i.p.) when its first administration was delayed for several hours after the onset of permanent stroke. Nimesulide reduced the infarct size in animals treated at 0.5 (n = 8), 1 (n = 9) and 2 h (n = 9), but not at 3 (n = 11) and 4 h (n = 9) after pMCAO, compared to vehicle-treated and time-comparable control groups (n = 7–9 per group). Infarct volumes are expressed as a percentage of the contralateral (control) hemisphere and the data are represented as the mean ± SD. * p < 0.05 and ** p < 0.01 with respect to vehicle (Student's t-test).