In order to elucidate the role of adrenomedullin in the kidney, we investigated the effects of adrenomedullin on renal hemodynamics and urine formation in anesthetized dogs. Intrarenal arterial infusion of adrenomedullin (0.8, 4 and 20 ng.kg-1.min-1) elicited dose-dependent increases in renal blood flow (by 10, 26 and 37%, respectively) with no change in blood pressure or heart rate, indicating a renal vasodilatory action of adrenomedullin. The glomerular filtration rate did not increase with the lower two doses, but increased marginally by 9% at the highest dose. Infusion of adrenomedullin at the rates of 4 and 20 ng.kg-1.min-1 increased urine flow and the urinary excretion of sodium and potassium dose dependently. Arterial and renal venous plasma renin activity was unaffected by adrenomedullin. These findings indicate that adrenomedullin is a potent renal vasodilatory peptide with a diuretic action. Since the threshold for the renal vasodilatory action of adrenomedullin is close to its physiological concentration in human plasma, adrenomedullin may play an important role in the regulation of renal function.