Studies in vitro reveal that fluvastatin, an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, has a strong DPPH radical scavenging activity and achieves concentration-dependent inhibition of copper- and cell-induced oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL). To further examine the anti-oxidative activity of fluvastatin in vivo, we elucidated the effects of chronic treatment with fluvastatin at a dose insufficient to reduce plasma cholesterol levels (2 mg/kg per day) on vasomotion and vascular oxidative stress in thoracic aortas of 0.5% cholesterol-fed rabbits. After 12 weeks of dietary treatment, aortic segments from rabbits fed cholesterol alone showed impaired endothelium-dependent relaxation responses to acetylcholine and A23187 compared to normal chow-fed rabbits in association with a significant increase in plasma total cholesterol levels. In contrast, although plasma total cholesterol levels were not different from those in control cholesterol-fed rabbits, aortic segments from fluvastatin-treated rabbits showed normal relaxation. Compared with rabbits fed cholesterol alone, fluvastatin treatment decreased susceptibility of LDL to ex vivo copper-induced oxidation, reduced vascular superoxide generation, and atheromatous plaque formation. In conclusion, the potent anti-oxidative properties of fluvastatin in addition to its cholesterol-lowering activity appear to contribute to its anti-atherosclerotic effect in vivo.