We have documented that both receptors of angiotensin II (ANG II) (AT1 and AT2) are involved in regulation of intracellular signals in glomerular epithelial cells (GECs). We studied the role of these receptors in regulation of intracellular ionized calcium [Ca2(+)]i in GECs. Cells were loaded with Indo-1 (Ca2(+)) and SNARF-1 (pH) fluorescent dyes and then incubated with or without ANG II for 1 hour at 37 degrees C. In some experiments AT(1) and AT(2) receptor blockers (Losartan and PD 12339, respectively) were added. In additional experiments cells were incubated with thapsigargin (Tg) and bradykinin (BK) as well as ANG II. A four-channel fluorescence videomicroscope system was used to measure real-time [Ca2(+) ]i in individual cells. Levels of inositol triphosphate (IP(3)) were measured with radioimmunoassay. An amount of 100 nmol/L of ANG II caused a maximal increase in [Ca2(+)]i in calcium-containing buffer. ANG II had no effect on intracellular pH of GECs. Increase in [Ca2(+)]i by ANG II was prevented by the concurrent use of Losartan and PD 123319. BK caused a transient increase in [Ca2(+)]i, which was significantly decreased by ANG II; concurrent addition of Losartan and PD 123319 prevented ANG II effect. ANG II prevented the accumulation of Ca2(+) in intracellular stores. ANG II caused a significant but transient increase in levels of IP(3). In summary, ANG II increases extracellular/intracellular calcium dependent bidirectional Ca2(+) transport in GECs, inhibits BK induced release of Ca2(+) from IP(3) sensitive stores, and, in addition, reduces refilling of endoplasmic reticulum [Ca2(+)] depleted by repeated BK stimulation. Both receptor subtypes appear to be important in ANG II mediated physiologic responses of GECs and may participate in modulation of glomerular function in vivo.