The purpose of this study was to systematically investigate the abundance of each of the adenosine receptor subtypes in the preglomerular microcirculation vs. other vascular segments and vs. the renal cortex and medulla. Rat preglomerular microvessels (PGMVs) were isolated by iron oxide loading followed by magnetic separation. For comparison, mesenteric microvessels, segments of the aorta (thoracic, middle abdominal, and lower abdominal), renal cortex, and renal medulla were obtained by dissection. Adenosine receptor protein and mRNA expression were examined by Western blotting, Northern blotting, and RT-PCR. Our results indicate that compared with other vascular segments and renal tissues, A1 and A2B receptor protein and mRNA are abundantly expressed in the preglomerular microcirculation, whereas A2A and A3 receptor protein and mRNA are barely detectable or undetectable in PGMVs. We conclude that, relative to other vascular and renal tissues, A1 and A2B receptors are well expressed in PGMVs, whereas A2A and A3 receptors are notably deficient. Thus A1 and A2B receptors, but not A2A or A3 receptors, may importantly regulate the preglomerular microcirculation.