Objective: To determine the role of microRNA 21(miR-21) on left ventricular remodeling of rat heart with ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury and to investigate the underlying mechanism of miR-21 mediated myocardium protection. Methods: Rats were randomly divided into three groups: an I/R model group with Ad-GFP (Ad-GFP group), an I/R model group with Ad-miR-21 (Ad-miR-21 group) and a sham-surgery group. Changes in hemodynamic parameters were recorded at 1 week after I/R. Histological diagnosis was achieved by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E). Left ventricular (LV) dimensions, myocardial infarct size, LV/BW, collagen type Ⅰ, type Ⅲ and PCNA positive cells were measured. Primary cultures of neonatal rat cardiac ventricular myocytes were performed and cell ischemic injury was induced by hypoxia in a serum- and glucose-free medium, and reoxygenation (H/R).MiR-21 inhibitor and pre-miR-21 were respectively added to the culture medium for the miR-21 knockdown and for the miR-21 up-regulation. qRT-PCR was used to determine the miR-21 levels in cultured cells. Flow cytometry was performed to examine the cell apoptosis. Results: In the Ad-miR-21 group, LV dimensions, myocardial infarct size, LV/BW, collagen type Ⅰ, type Ⅲ and PCNA positive cells all significantly decreased compared with the Ad-GFP group. At 1 week after I/R, the Ad-miR-21 significantly improved LVSP, LV +dp/dtmax, LV dp/dtmin, and decreased heart rate (HR) and LVEDP compared with the Ad-GFP group. Compared with the Ad-GFP, the cell apoptotic rate significantly decreased in the Ad-miR-21 group. The miR-21 inhibitor exacerbated cardiac myocyte apoptosis and the pre-miR-21 decreased hypoxia/reoxygenation- induced cardiac myocyte apoptosis. Conclusions: Ad-miR-21 improves LV remodeling and decreases the apoptosis of myocardial cells, suggesting the possible mechanism by which Ad-miR-21 functions in protecting against I/R injury.