The purinergic receptor system plays an important role in the regulation of both vascular and tubular functions within the kidney; however, the release of purinergic agonists other than ATP by renal tissue is not known. In this investigation, we determine if kidney tissue is a source of diadenosine polyphosphates, which have high affinity for the P(2X) and P(2Y) receptors. Both diadenosine pentaphosphate and hexaphosphate were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-mass spectrometry in extracts purified from both whole porcine kidney and from cloned cells of the LLC-PK1 cell line. Both polyphosphates in nanomolar concentrations were found to significantly stimulate the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells derived from rat thoracic aortas. The purinergic-receptor antagonist, suramin, did not significantly affect the growth-stimulatory properties of the polyphosphates. The growth stimulation of vascular smooth muscle cells by platelet-derived growth factor was potentiated by both diadenosine polyphosphates. We conclude that diadenosine polyphosphates are endogenous purinergic agonists of the kidney that have physiologic and pathophysiologic relevance. These epithelial cell metabolic products have vasoregulatory properties while linking the energy supply and tubular function.