Chronic hypoxia causes pulmonary vascular remodeling leading to pulmonary hypertension (PH) and right ventricle (RV) hypertrophy. Aberrant expression of microRNA (miRNA) is closely associated with a number of pathophysiologic processes. However, the role of miRNAs in chronic hypoxia-induced pulmonary vascular remodeling and PH has not been well characterized. In this study, we found increased expression of miR-21 in distal small arteries in the lungs of hypoxia-exposed mice. Putative miR-21 targets, including bone morphogenetic protein receptor (BMPR2), WWP1, SATB1, and YOD1, were downregulated in the lungs of hypoxia-exposed mice and in human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) overexpressing miR-21. We found that sequestration of miR-21, either before or after hypoxia exposure, diminished chronic hypoxia-induced PH and attenuated hypoxia-induced pulmonary vascular remodeling, likely through relieving the suppressed expression of miR-21 targets in the lungs of hypoxia-exposed mice. Overexpression of miR-21 enhanced, whereas downregulation of miR-21 diminished, the proliferation of human PASMCs in vitro and the expression of cell proliferation associated proteins, such as proliferating cell nuclear antigen, cyclin D1, and Bcl-xL. Our data suggest that miR-21 plays an important role in the pathogenesis of chronic hypoxia-induced pulmonary vascular remodeling and also suggest that miR-21 is a potential target for novel therapeutics to treat chronic hypoxia associated pulmonary diseases. © 2012 the American Physiological Society.