Sulforaphane-induced activation of the transcription factor NF-E2 related factor 2 (Nrf2 or the gene Nfe2l2) and subsequent induction of the phase II antioxidant system has previously been shown to exert neuroprotective action in a transient model of focal cerebral ischemia. However, its ability to attenuate functional and cellular deficits after permanent focal cerebral ischemia is not clear. We assessed the neuroprotective effects of sulforaphane in the photothrombotic model of permanent focal cerebral ischemia. Sulforaphane was administered (5 or 50 mg/kg, i.p.) after ischemic onset either as a single dose or as daily doses for 3 days. Sulforaphane increased transcription of Nrf2, Hmox1, GCLC and GSTA4 mRNA in the brain confirming activation of the Nrf2 system. Single or repeated administration of sulforaphane had no effect on the infarct volume, nor did it reduce the number of activated glial cells or proliferating cells when analyzed 24 and 72 h after stroke. Motor-function as assessed by beam-walking, cylinder-test, and adhesive test, did not improve after sulforaphane treatment. The results show that sulforaphane treatment initiated after photothrombosis-induced permanent cerebral ischemia does not interfere with key cellular mechanisms underlying tissue damage.