Cerebral ischemia results in enhanced expression of contractile cerebrovascular receptors, such as endothelin type B (ETB), 5-hydroxytryptamine type 1B (5-HT1B), angiotensin II type 1 (AT1) and thromboxane (TP) receptors in the cerebral arteries within the ischemic area. The receptor upregulation occurs via activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) pathway. Previous studies have shown that inhibitors of the MAPK pathway diminished the ischemic area and contractile cerebrovascular receptors after experimental cerebral ischemia. The aim of this study was to examine if the upregulation of contractile cerebrovascular receptors after 48 h of organ culture of human cerebral arteries involves MAPK pathways and if it can be prevented by a MEK1/2 inhibitor. Human cerebral arteries were obtained from patients undergoing intracranial tumor surgery. The vessels were divided into ring segments and incubated for 48 h in the presence or absence of the specific MEK1/2 inhibitor U0126. The vessels were then examined by using in vitro pharmacological methods and protein immunohistochemistry.