Hydrogen-rich saline has been reported to prevent neointimal hyperplasia induced by carotid balloon injury. The purpose of the present study was to further investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon. Daily injection of a hydrogen-rich saline solution (HRSS) in rats was employed to study the effect of hydrogen on balloon injury-induced neointimal hyperplasia and the neointima/media ratio was assessed. HRSS significantly decreased the neointima area and neointima/media ratio in a dose-dependent manner. In vitro effects of hydrogen on fetal bovine serum (FBS)-induced vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation were also investigated. Hydrogen-rich medium (HRM) inhibited rat VSMC proliferation and migration induced by 10% FBS. FBS-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and activation of intracellular Ras, MEK1/2, ERK1/2, proliferative cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), Akt were significantly inhibited by HRM. In addition, HRM blocked FBS-induced progression from the G0/G1 to the S-phase and increased the apoptosis rate of VSMCs. These results showed that hydrogen-rich saline was able to attenuate FBS-induced VSMC proliferation and neointimal hyperplasia by inhibiting ROS production and inactivating the Ras-ERK1/2-MEK1/2 and Akt pathways. Thus, HRSS may have potential therapeutic relevance for the prevention of human restenosis.