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Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), the predominant neurotransmitter in capsaicin-sensitive sensory nerves, is a potent vasodilator and inhibits proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells. Previous investigations have demonstrated that the hypotensive effect of rutaecarpine (Rut) is associated to stimulation of CGRP synthesis and release via activation of the vanilloid receptor subtype 1 (VR1) in the phenol-induced hypertensive rat. This study tested whether the depressor effect and inhibiting vascular hypertrophy of Rut is mediated by endogenous CGRP in 2-kidney, 1-clip (2K1C) hypertensive rats. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) was measured by tail-cuff method in conscious. Mesenteric arteries were isolated for examination of morphological changes. The concentration of CGRP in the plasma and the expression of CGRP mRNA in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) were measured. Chronic administration of Rut (10, 20, or 40 mg/kg/day, respectively) for 4 weeks caused a depressor effect and significantly regressed the lumen diameter and decreased the medium thickness of mesenteric arteries in hypertensive rats concomitantly with an increase in the plasma concentration of CGRP and the expression of CGRP mRNA in DRG. In conclusion, chronic administration of Rut can reduce blood pressure and relieve mesenteric artery hypertrophy in the 2K1C hypertensive rats, and the effects of Rut may be related to stimulation of CGRP synthesis and release.