Dopamine plays an important role in the regulation of renal sodium excretion. The synthesis of dopamine and the presence of dopamine receptor subtypes (D1A, D1B, as D1-like and D2, and D3 as D2-like) have been shown within the kidney. The activation of D1-like receptors located on the proximal tubules causes inhibition of tubular sodium reabsorption by inhibiting Na,H-exchanger and Na,K-ATPase activity. The D1-like receptors are linked to the multiple cellular signaling systems (namely, adenylyl cyclase, phospholipase C, and phospholipase A2) in the different regions of the nephron. Defective renal dopamine production and/or dopamine receptor function have been reported in human primary hypertension as well as in genetic models of animal hypertension. There may be a primary defect in D1-like receptors and an altered signaling system in the proximal tubules that lead to reduced dopamine-mediated effects on renal sodium excretion in hypertension. Recently, it has been shown in animal models that the disruption of either D1A or D3 receptors at the gene level causes hypertension in mice. Dopamine and dopamine receptor agonists also provide therapeutic potential in treatment of various cardiovascular pathological conditions, including hypertension. However, because of the poor bioavailability of the currently available compounds, the use of D1-like agonists is limited to the management of patients with severe hypertension when a rapid reduction of blood pressure is clinically indicated and in acute management of patients with heart failure. In conclusion, there is convincing evidence that dopamine and dopamine receptors play an important role in regulation of renal function, suggesting that a defective dopamine receptor/signaling system may contribute to the development and maintenance of hypertension. Further studies need to be directed toward establishing a direct correlation between defective dopamine receptor gene in the kidney and development of hypertension. Subsequently, it may be possible to use a therapeutic approach to correct the defect in dopamine receptor gene causing the hypertension.