Activated protein C (APC) is a protease with anticoagulant and cytoprotective activities. APC is neuroprotective in rodent models of stroke. But, an APC variant with reduced anticoagulant activity, 3K3A-APC, compared to wild-type APC shows greater neuroprotection with no risk for bleeding in stroke models. To determine whether 3K3A-APC exhibits species-dependent neuroprotection similar to that as seen with wild-type APC, we studied murine and human recombinant 3K3A-APC mutants which show approximately 80% reduced anticoagulant activity. Murine 3K3A-APC (0.2 mg/kg i.v.) administered at 4 h after embolic stroke improved substantially functional outcome and reduced by 80% the infract volume 7 days after stroke. Human 3K3A-APC was neuroprotective after embolic stroke in mice, but at significantly higher concentrations (i.e. 2 mg/kg i.v.). Species-dependent neuroprotection, i.e. murine > human 3K3A-APC, was confirmed in a mouse model of permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion. Human 3K3A-APC had by fivefold greater cytoprotective activity than murine 3K3A-APC in oxygen-glucose deprivation model in human brain endothelial cells, whereas murine 3K3A-APC was by 2.5-fold more potent than human 3K3A-APC in a mouse model of NMDA-induced neuronal apoptosis. Thus, 3K3A-APC exhibits species-dependent neuroprotection which should be taken into account when designing human trials for ischemic stroke with APC mutants.