Background Ischemic stroke is a common and debilitating disease with limited treatment options. Protease activated receptor 1 (PAR1) is a fundamental cell signaling mediator in the central nervous system (CNS). It can be activated by many proteases including thrombin and plasmin, with various down-stream effects, following brain ischemia. Methods A permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (PMCAo) model was used in PAR1 KO and WT C57BL/6J male mice. Mice were evaluated for neurological deficits (neurological severity score, NSS), infarct volume (Tetrazolium Chloride, TTC), and for plasmin and thrombin activity in brain slices. Results Significantly low levels of plasmin and thrombin activities were found in PAR1 KO compared to WT (1.6±0.4 vs. 3.2±0.6 ng/[mu]l, p Conclusions PAR1 KO mice have smaller infarcts, with lower thrombin and plasmin activity levels. These findings may suggest that modulation of PAR1 is a potential target for future pharmacological treatment of ischemic stroke.