We established a rat chronic alveolar hypoxia in vivo model to evaluate the efficacy against hypoxic pulmonary hypertension of a new angiotensin II-receptor I blocker, olmesartan medoxomil. Three groups of rats were established: rats exposed for 2-6 weeks to 10% oxygen atmosphere in a normobaric chamber; hypoxic rats treated with olmesartan medoxomil oral administration (5 mg/day) every day; and control rats fed in a normoxic condition. After hypoxia treatment, the presence, etiology and severity of pulmonary hypertension, was echocardiographically evaluated, and expressions of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), transforming growth factor (TGF-beta) and endothelin-1 genes measured by both immunohistochemical assay and real-time polymerase chain reaction. Olmesartan medoxomil significantly reduced the induction of hypoxic cor pulmonale not only on echocardiographical observations but also in BNP, TGF-beta and endothelin gene expressions in molecular studies. However, systolic blood pressure was independent of olmesartan medoxomil. The present study clearly indicates that the angiotensin II-type I-receptor blocker olmesartan medoxomil has significant efficacy for hypoxic cor pulmonale.