Our laboratory has shown that dopamine D(2)-like receptor activation causes stimulation of Na(+), K(+)-ATPase (NKA) activity in the proximal tubules of the rat kidney. The present study was designed to investigate the cellular signaling mechanisms mediating this response to D(2)-like receptor activation. We measured the stimulation of NKA activity by bromocriptine (D(2)-like receptor agonist) in the absence and presence of PD-98059 [p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase inhibitor] and genistein (tyrosine kinase inhibitor) in renal proximal tubules. Both agents inhibited bromocriptine-mediated stimulation of NKA, suggesting the involvement of p44/42 MAPK and tyrosine kinase in this response. Additionally, we found that bromocriptine increased the phosphorylation of p44/42 MAPK in the proximal tubules, which was blocked by PD-98059 and genistein. These results show that D(2)-like receptor activation causes stimulation of NKA activity by means of a tyrosine kinase-p44/42 MAPK pathway in the proximal tubules of the kidney.