Neointimal hyperplasia (NIH), a pathophysiological event identified in bypass graft and stent re-stenosis, is characterised by aberrant vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) migration and proliferation. Recent evidence identifies histone deacetylase modulation as a regulator of VSMC proliferation and migration and a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of NIH. The purpose of our study was to determine the in vitro and in vivo potential of a novel agent, MCT-3, to modulate VSMC migration, proliferation and NIH. Methods In vitro VSMC studies utilized reverse transcriptase and real time Q-PCR gene expression analysis, western blot, elisa assay and cellular proliferation and migration scratch assay s. In vivo studies utilized the partial carotid artery ligation model of NIH together with immunohistochemistry in FVB/N mice. Results MCT-3 treatment induced histone H3 and H4 acetylation and inhibited VSMC migration and proliferation in vitro and significantly attenuated NIH in vivo. MCT-3-mediated regulation of orphan nuclear receptor NUR77, Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor Type-1 (PAI-1) and cyclin dependent kinase inhibitors (CDKI) p21CIP1/WAF1 and p27KIP1 expression was also identified. Conclusions Together these observations identify a novel agent, MCT-3, with histone deacetylase inhibitory activity, able to inhibit NIH and identify a potential molecular mechanism responsible for these effects. Additional pre-clinical studies may be warranted to determine the potential clinical utility of this compound. ? 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York.