Hypertension represents one of the main risk factors for vascular diseases. Genetic susceptibility may influence the rate of its development and the associated vascular remodeling. To explore markers of hypertension-related morbidity, we have used surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (SELDI-TOF) mass spectrometry to study changes in proteins released by the aorta of two rat strains with different susceptibilities to hypertension. Fischer and Brown Norway (BN) rats were divided into a control group and a group receiving low-dose N(Omega)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), a hypertensive drug, interfering with endothelial function. In spite of a significant elevation of blood pressure in both strains in response to L-NAME, BN rats exhibited a lower vascular remodeling in response to hypertension. Proteomic analysis of secreted aortic proteins by SELDI-TOF MS allowed detection of four mass-to-charge ratio (m/z) peaks whose corresponding proteins were identified as ubiquitin, smooth muscle (SM) 22alpha, thymosin beta4, and C-terminal fragment of filamin A, differentially secreted in Fischer rats in response to L-NAME. We have confirmed a strain-dependent difference in susceptibility to L-NAME-induced hypertension between BN and Fischer rats. The greater susceptibility of Fischer rats is associated with aortic wall hypertrophic remodeling, reflected by increased aortic secretion of four identified biomarkers. Similar variations in one of them, SM22alpha, also were observed in plasma, suggesting that this marker could be used to assess vascular damage induced by hypertension.