Equilibrium binding studies with angiotensin II (AII) in isolated rat renal glomeruli indicate the presence of a single population of high-affinity AII receptors. Autoradiographic studies localize these receptors to glomerular mesangial cells, which are ideally positioned to modulate glomerular capillary patency and hence the glomerular capillary ultrafiltration coefficient. Modulation of AII receptor density occurs in response to alterations of circulating AII levels, with down-regulation of receptor number in the presence of salt depletion. Kinetic studies of the ligand dissociation rate performed in the presence and absence of MgCl2 and GTP indicate multiple affinity states and suggest that this receptor is coupled to a guanyl nucleotide regulatory unit. Such coupling may provide a basis for interaction with cyclase-activating hormones in modulating the contractile state of the mesangium.