Hydrocephalus has been observed in rats with spontaneous hypertension (SHRs). It has been demonstrated that activation of the oxidative stress related protein retinoic acid receptor alpha (RARα) has neuroprotective impacts. Our investigation aims to determine the potential role and mechanism of RARα in hydrocephalus. The RARα-specific agonist (Am80) and RARα inhibitor (AGN196996) were used to investigate the role of RARα in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) secretion in the choroid plexus of SHRs. Evaluations of CSF secretion, ventricular volume, Western blotting, and immunofluorescent staining were performed. Hydrocephalus and CSF hypersecretion were identified in SHRs but not in Wistar–Kyoto rats, occurring at the age of 7 weeks. The RARα/MAFB/MSR1 pathway was also activated in SHRs. Therapy with Am80 beginning in week 5 decreased CSF hypersecretion, hydrocephalus development, and pathological changes in choroid plexus alterations by week 7. AGN196996 abolished the effect of Am80. In conclusion, activation of the RARα attenuated CSF hypersecretion to inhibit hydrocephalus development via regulating the MAFB/MSR1 pathway. RARα may act as a possible therapeutic target for hydrocephalus.