Because the presence of the angiotensin II (ANG II)-dependent phosphoinositide hydrolysis has been questioned from studies in proximal cells in culture, we looked for this transduction pathway in suspension of freshly isolated rat proximal tubule fragments. ANG II-receptor activation induced a prompt (within 15 s) and sustained increase in [3H]inositol phosphates (IPs; inositol trisphosphate, inositol bisphosphate, and inositol monophosphate). In fura-2-loaded tubules, it elicited a rapid and biphasic rise in cytosolic free calcium ([Ca2+]i) with an early peak (within 15 s) followed by a plateau. The peak was maintained in the absence of extracellular calcium. ANG II-induced inositol trisphosphate and [Ca2+]i rises showed a similar dose dependency, with a 50% effective concentration (EC50) of 2.9 and 5.5 nM, respectively. We checked that ANG II inhibited basal (EC50 4.4 nM) and parathyroid hormone- and forskolin-stimulated cAMP production, the latter effect being inhibited by pertussis toxin pretreatment. The effects of ANG II on IPs and [Ca2+]i were inhibited by the ANG II receptor subtype 1 (AT1) antagonist losartan and not by the ANG II receptor subtype 2 (AT2) antagonists PD 123177 and PD 123319. The effect of ANG II on forskolin-stimulated cAMP was inhibited by losartan and not by PD 123319. In agreement with these results, specific binding of 125I-[Sar1,Ile8]ANG II was markedly inhibited by losartan, whereas PD 123319 had no effect. These results demonstrate that AT1 receptor subtypes are present in intact rat proximal tubule cells and are coupled to both IPs-Ca2+ and cAMP signaling pathways. No evidence for AT2 receptor subtype is found.