Our studies and those of others have shown that changes in the extracellular matrix have profound effects on vascular remodeling. In the ductus, increased production of endothelial hyaluronan and smooth muscle cell chondroitin sulfate and fibronectin and impaired elastin fiber assembly are features critical to smooth muscle cell migration into the subendothelium and intimal cushion formation. There is a developmentally orchestrated process that involves post-transcriptional mechanisms of gene regulation. Closure of the ductus arteriosus is associated with further changes in matrix expression and programmed cell death. The changes in the extracellular matrix that induce neointimal formation are also observed in pathological conditions in pulmonary and coronary arteries. Plasticity of the pulmonary circulation in the perinatal period also involves matrix regulation, and processes that prevent the normal decrease in pulmonary vascular resistance will result in impaired matrix regulation, and in the development of structural changes in the pulmonary arteries, including abnormal smooth muscle cell differentiation, hypertrophy and proliferation, which sustain the elevation in pulmonary artery pressure.