The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) plays an important role in renal physiology and kidney injury. Although the cellular effects of the RAS activation are generally attributed to angiotensin II (ANG II), the recent identification of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 has shifted the focus to other peptides including Ang-(1-7). The G protein-coupled receptor for Ang-(1-7), mas, is expressed by mesangial cells (MC) but the signal transduction pathways activated by Ang-(1-7) in MC have not been fully elucidated. Accordingly, we studied the effect of Ang-(1-7) on extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK)1/2 activation in rat MC. Ang-(1-7)-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation in MC is time- and concentration-dependent. Pretreatment of MC with the mas receptor antagonist A-779 but not the AT(1) antagonist losartan or the AT(2) antagonist PD123319 abrogated ERK1/2 activation. Neither pretreatment with the NADPH oxidase inhibitors diphenyleneiodonium and apocynin nor pretreatment with the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor antagonists AG1478 and PD158780 attenuated Ang-(1-7)-induced activation of ERK1/2. Even though each of these compounds abolished ANG II-induced activation of ERK1/2. Ang-(1-7) increased intracellular cAMP levels and activated protein kinase A (PKA) and inhibition of either adenylyl cyclase or PKA activity attenuated Ang-(1-7)-induced ERK1/2 activation. In conclusion, Ang-(1-7)-induced activation of ERK1/2 is cAMP/PKA-dependent in MC, but independent of NADPH oxidase and the EGF receptor.