Brain aging is associated to several morphological and functional alterations that influence the evolution and outcome of CNS damage. Acute brain injury such as an excitotoxic insult induces initial tissue damage followed by associated inflammation and oxidative stress, partly attributed to neutrophil recruitment and the expression of oxidative enzymes such as myeloperoxidase (MPO), among others. However, to date, very few studies have focused on how age can influence neutrophil infiltration after acute brain damage. Therefore, to evaluate the age-dependent pattern of neutrophil cell infiltration following an excitotoxic injury, intrastriatal injection of N-methyl-d-aspartate was performed in young and aged male Wistar rats. Animals were sacrificed at different times between 12. h post-lesion (hpl) to 14. days post-lesion (dpl). Cryostat sections were processed for myeloperoxidase (MPO) immunohistochemistry, and double labeling for either neuronal cells (NeuN), astrocytes (GFAP), perivascular macrophages (ED-2), or microglia/macrophages (tomato lectin histochemistry). Our observations showed that MPO. +. cells were observed in the injured striatum from 12 hpl (when maximum values were found) until 7 dpl, when cell density was strongly diminished. However, at all survival times analyzed, the overall density of MPO. +. cells was lower in the aged versus the adult injured striatum. MPO. +. cells were mainly identified as neutrophils (especially at 12 hpl and 1 dpl), but it should be noted that MPO. +. neurons and microglia/macrophages were also found. MPO. +. neurons were most commonly observed at 12 hpl and reduced in the aged. MPO. +. microglia/macrophages were the main population expressing MPO from 3 dpl, when density was also reduced in aged subjects.These results point to neutrophil infiltration as another important factor contributing to the different responses of the adult and aged brain to damage, highlighting the need of using aged animals for the study of acute age-related brain insults. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.