To assess the neuroprotective effect of tacrolimus (FK506) in transient forebrain ischemia models in gerbils, 10.0 mg/kg of FK506 was injected intraperitoneally immediately following reperfusion and at intervals of 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 h after reperfusion. FK506 produced a significant neuroprotective effect for up to 6 h after 5 min of ischemia. Immunoblot and immunohistochemistry revealed that the amount of FKBP12, the 12-kDa FK506-binding protein, in the cytosol remained unchanged until 12 h after reperfusion. Translocation of FKBP12 from the nucleus to the cytosol was not observed until 24 h after reperfusion. Administration of FK506 did not appear to induce the cytosolic increase in FKBP12. In this study, no correlation was apparent between the post-ischemic therapeutic efficacy of FK506 and the post-ischemic changes in the cytosolic FKBP12.