Recent studies revealed that angiotensin II (Ang II) interacts with two pharmacologically different subtypes of cell surface receptors. Type I Ang II (AT1) receptor is characterized by signal transduction mediated through G protein and phospholipase C. In this study, the micro-localization of mRNAs coding for AT1 receptor and angiotensinogen was carried out in the rat kidney, using an assay of reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in individual microdissected renal tubule segments along the nephron, glomeruli, vasa recta bundle, and arcuate arteries. Large signals for AT1 receptor were detected in the glomerulus, proximal convoluted tubule (PCT), proximal straight tubule (PST), cortical collecting duct, and vascular system. Small signals were also seen in medullary thick ascending limb, outer medullary collecting duct, and inner medullary collecting duct (IMCD). Angiotensinogen mRNA is expressed largely in PCT, PST, and a small amount in glomerulus and vasa recta. Our data demonstrate that Ang II could be produced locally in proximal tubule and vasa recta bundle, and that the AT1 receptor was widely distributed not only in the glomerulus and vessels but also in tubules from PCT to IMCD.