Tryptophan hydroxylase 1 catalyzes the rate-limiting step in the synthesis of serotonin in the periphery. Recently, it has been shown that expression of the tryptophan hydroxylase 1 gene is increased in lungs and pulmonary endothelial cells from patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension. Here we investigated the effect of genetic deletion of tryptophan hydroxylase 1 on hypoxia-induced pulmonary arterial hypertension in mice by measuring pulmonary hemodynamics and pulmonary vascular remodeling before and after 2 weeks of hypoxia. In wild-type mice, hypoxia increased right ventricular pressure and pulmonary vascular remodeling. These effects of hypoxia were attenuated in the tryptophan hydroxylase 1-/-mice. Hypoxia increased right ventricular hypertrophy in both wild-type and tryptophan hydroxylase 1-/-mice suggesting that in vivo peripheral serotonin has a differential effect on the pulmonary vasculature and right ventricular hypertrophy. Contractile responses to serotonin were increased in pulmonary arteries from tryptophan hydroxylase 1-/-mice. Hypoxia increased serotonin-mediated contraction in vessels from the wild-type mice, but this was not further increased by hypoxia in the tryptophan hydroxylase 1-/-mice. In conclusion, these results indicate that tryptophan hydroxylase 1 and peripheral serotonin play an essential role in the development of hypoxia-induced elevations in pulmonary pressures and hypoxia-induced pulmonary vascular remodeling. In addition, the results suggest that, in mice, serotonin has differential effects on the pulmonary vasculature and right ventricular hypertrophy.