Excessive entry of zinc ions into the soma of neurons and glial cells results in extensive oxidative stress and necrosis of cortical cells, which underlies acute neuronal injury in cerebral ischemia and epileptic seizures. Here, we show that angiopoietin-1 (Ang1), a potent angiogenic ligand for the receptor tyrosine kinase Tie2 and integrins, inhibits the entry of zinc into primary mouse cortical cells and exerts a substantial protective effect against zinc-induced neurotoxicity. The neuroprotective effect of Ang1 was mediated by the integrin/focal adhesion kinase (FAK) signaling axis, as evidenced by the blocking effects of a pan-integrin inhibitory RGD peptide and PF-573228, a specific chemical inhibitor of FAK. Notably, blockade of zinc-permeable ion channels by Ang1 was attributable to phospholipase C-mediated hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate. Collectively, these data reveal a novel role of Ang1 in regulating the activity of zinc-permeable ion channels, and thereby protecting cortical cells against zinc-induced neurotoxicity.