OBJECTIVE We recently demonstrated that Rho-kinase, an effector of the small GTPase Rho, is substantially involved in the pathogenesis of arteriosclerosis. In this study, we examined whether Rho-kinase is also involved in in-stent restenosis and if so, what mechanism is involved. METHODS AND RESULTS Pigs underwent stent implantation in the left coronary artery with or without administration of fasudil (30 mg/kg per day orally), a specific Rho-kinase inhibitor, starting 2 days before the procedure for a duration of 4 weeks. On day 28, reductions in coronary diameter and neointimal formation associated with macrophage accumulation, collagen deposition, and transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1 expression were noted at the stent site, and all were significantly suppressed by fasudil. On day 7, fasudil significantly increased the frequency of TUNEL-positive apoptotic cells, while it tended to reduce that of bromodeoxyuridine-positive proliferating cells in the neointima. Western blot analysis on day 7 demonstrated that phosphorylations of the ezrin/radixin/moesin family (a marker of Rho-kinase activity in vivo) and protein expression of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1and bcl-2 were upregulated at the stent site and were significantly suppressed by fasudil. CONCLUSIONS These results indicate that long-term inhibition of Rho-kinase suppresses in-stent neointimal formation by multiple mechanisms, including reduced vascular inflammation, enhanced apoptosis, and decreased collagen deposition.