Aberrant expression of components of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) enzyme system is implicated in abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) formation. We aimed to investigate the influence of a novel histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor (HDACi) metacept-1 (MCT-1), previously documented to reduce MMP expression, on HDAC activity and MMP expression in aortic smooth muscle cells and the in vivo incidence of AAAs.Western blot and gelatin zymography were used to determine HDAC activity and MMP-2 expression and activity in rat (rVSMCs) and human aortic vascular smooth muscle cells (hVSMCs) in vitro. In vivo AAAs were generated using apolipoprotein E-deficient mice infused with angiotensin (Ang) II. Immunohistochemistry detected MMP-2 and -9 expression in AAA tissue samples.In vitro, MCT-1 inhibited HDAC activity in rVSMCs, and MMP-2 expression and proteolytic activity in hVSMCs. In vivo, Ang II treatment alone exhibited an AAA incidence of 84%. Doxycycline decreased the incidence of AAAs to 50%. Importantly, MCT-1 reduced AAA incidence to approximately 44%. MMP-2 and -9 immunoreactivity was reduced in MCT-1-treated aortic tissue.The novel HDACi MCT-1 inhibits MMP expression and AAA incidence suggesting this compound may warrant further investigation in the context of AAA biology.