Transcriptome analyses of organ transplants have until now usually focused on whole tissue samples containing activation profiles from different cell populations. Here, we enriched endothelial cells from rat cardiac allografts and isografts, establishing their activation profile at baseline and on days 2, 3 and 4 after transplantation. Modulated transcripts were assigned to three categories based on their regulation profile in allografts and isografts. Categories A and B contained the majority of transcripts and showed similar regulation in both graft types, appearing to represent responses to surgical trauma. By contrast, category C contained transcripts that were partly allograft-specific and to a large extent associated with interferon-γ-responsiveness. Several transcripts were verified by immunohistochemical analysis of graft lesions, among them the matricellular protein periostin, which was one of the most highly upregulated transcripts but has not been associated with transplantation previously. In conclusion, the majority of the differentially expressed genes in graft endothelial cells are affected by the transplantation procedure whereas relatively few are associated with allograft rejection.