Hyperlipidemia with accompanying increase in peripheral inflammation is a risk factor for stroke. The effect of excess lipids on stroke-induced injury and the mechanism by which lipid-mediated inflammatory responses contribute to stroke are not known. We investigated these uncertainties by subjecting normal and hyperlipidemic mice to transient middle cerebral artery occlusion, followed by measurement of stroke severity and inflammatory response. Infarct size, swelling, and lipid contents were significantly increased in the high-fat fed ApoE knock-out mice, as was the expression of the inflammatory mediators CD36 and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) in the brain and periphery. Furthermore, the hyperlipidemic mice exhibited numerous foam cells, a probable cause of increased swelling and postischemic inflammation, in the peri-infarct area. Genetic deletion of cd36 in the hyperlipidemic condition reduced proinflammatory chemokine/receptor and cytokines (MCP-1, CC chemokine receptor 2, and interleukins 1beta and 6), in the brain 6 h after ischemia. The reduced proinflammatory response also resulted in smaller ischemic injury, less swelling, and fewer foam cells at 3 d after ischemia. The results show that hyperlipidemia-induced inflammation is a negative factor for stroke outcomes and indicate that downregulating CD36 may be an effective therapeutic strategy for reducing the impact of stroke in hyperlipidemic subjects.