a): Sections from the middle cerebral artery (MCA), cerebral microvessels (Mic.V), and surrounding brain tissue (Brain) showing iNOS, IL-6, IL-1ß and TNF-α immunoreactivity in the smooth muscle cell layer. A) iNOS; control, B) iNOS; MCAO, C) iNOS; MCAO treated with AT1/ETA receptor inhibitor (candesartan + ZD1611), D) IL-6;control, E) IL-6; MCAO, F) IL-6; MCAO treated with candesartan + ZD1611, G) IL-1 ß; control, H) IL-1 ß; MCAO, I) IL-1 ß; MCAO treated with candesartan + ZD1611, J) TNF-α; control, K) TNFα; MCAO, L) TNFα, MCAO treated with candesartan + ZD1611. There were increased expressions of iNOS, IL-6, IL-1ß and TNF-α protein levels in both middle cerebral artery and cerebral microvessels after MCAO as compared to control groups. Treatment with AT1/ETA receptor inhibitors starting immediately after induced MCAO diminished the increases in protein levels. There was no change in protein expression in ischemic brain tissue around vessels as compared to control and treated brain tissue. Data were obtained with confocal microscopy. Scale bar 50 μm. b): Bar graphs showing fluorescence intensity for iNOS, IL-6, IL-1ß and TNF-α in MCA. There were significant increases of the espressions of these proteins in MCAO animals as compared to control animals. Treatment with AT1/ETA receptor inhibitors starting at 0 hours produced significant decreases in IL-6 and TNF-α protein levels and slight decreases in iNOS and IL-1ß protein levels. Data are presented as the mean percentage relative to control ± SEM.; n = 5. *P < 0.05, significant difference between control group and MCAO, #P < 0.05, significant difference between MCAO and treated group.