To investigate the responses of descending vasa recta (DVR) to deformation of the abluminal surface, we devised an automated method that controls duration and frequency of stimulation by utilizing a stream of buffer from a micropipette. During stimulation at one end of the vessel, fluorescent responses from fluo4 or bis[1,3-dibutylbarbituric acid-(5)] trimethineoxonol [DiBAC₄(3)], indicating cytoplasmic calcium ([Ca²⁺]CYT) or membrane potential, respectively, were recorded from distant cells. Alternately, membrane potential was recorded from DVR pericytes by nystatin whole cell patch-clamp. Mechanical stimulation elicited reversible [Ca²⁺)]CYT responses that increased with frequency. Individual pericyte responses along the vessel were initiated within a fraction of a second of one another. Those responses were inhibited by gap junction blockade with 18 β-glycyrrhetinic acid (100 μM) or phosphoinositide 3 kinase inhibition with 2-morpholin-4-yl-8-phenylchromen-4-one (50 μM). [Ca²⁺]CYT responses were blocked by removal of extracellular Ca²⁺ or L-type voltage-gated channel blockade with nifedipine (10 μM). At concentrations selective for the T-type channel blockade, mibefradil (100 nM) was ineffective. During mechanostimulation, pericytes rapidly depolarized, as documented with either DiBAC4(3) fluorescence or patch-clamp recording. Single stimuli yielded depolarizations of 22.5 ± 2.2 mV while repetitive stimuli at 0.1 Hz depolarized pericytes by 44.2 ± 4.0 mV. We conclude that DVR are mechanosensitive and that rapid transmission of signals along the vessel axis requires participation of gap junctions, L-type Ca²⁺ channels, and pericyte depolarization.