(-)-Epigallocatechin gallate has a potent antioxidant property and can reduce free radical-induced lipid peroxidation as a green tea polyphenol. In previous study, systemic administration of (-)-epigallocatechin gallate immediately after ischemia has been shown to inhibit the hippocampal neuronal damage in the gerbil model of global ischemia. Polyamines are thought to be important in the generation of brain edema and neuronal cell damage associated with various types of excitatory neurotoxicity. We examined the effects of delayed administration of (-)-epigallocatechin gallate on the changes in polyamine levels and neuronal damage after transient global ischemia in gerbils. To produce transient global ischemia, both common carotid arteries were occluded for 3 min with micro-clips. The gerbils were treated with (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (50 mg/kg, i.p.) at 1 or 3 h after ischemia. The polyamines; putrescine, spermidine, and spermine levels were examined using high performance liquid chromatography in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus 24 h after ischemia. Putrescine levels in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus were increased significantly after ischemia and the delayed administrations of (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (1 or 3 h after ischemia) attenuated the increases. Only minor changes were noted in the spermidine and spermine levels after ischemia. In histology, neuronal injuries in the hippocampal CA1 regions were evaluated quantitatively 5 days after ischemia. (-)-Epigallocatechin gallate administered 1 h or 3 after ischemia significantly reduced hippocampal neuronal damage. The present results show that the delayed administrations of (-)-epigallocatechin gallate inhibit the transient global ischemia-induced increase of putrescine levels in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus. (-)-Epigallocatechin gallate is neuroprotective against neuronal damage even when administered up to 3 h after global ischemia. These findings suggest that (-)-epigallocatechin gallate may be promising in the acute treatment of stroke.