Although it is recognized that vasodilator-induced increases in renal plasma flow are not associated with increases in glomerular filtration rate (GFR), the mechanism responsible for the failure of GFR to exhibit plasma flow dependency under these circumstances remains uncertain. To evaluate this problem further, the effects of intra-arterial infusion of two vasodilators, bradykinin (n = 7) and papaverine (n = 6), on renal hemodynamics and glomerular function of dogs were determined. Both agents increased renal blood flow; however, GFR and single nephron GFR (SNGFR) remained unchanged during bradykinin infusion and decreased significantly during papaverine infusion. Transglomerular hydrostatic pressure and mean effective filtration pressure were not altered during bradykinin infusion but were significantly reduced by papaverine. Neither agent altered the glomerular filtration coefficient. These observations indicate that, in the dog, the GFR responses during renal vasodilation are dependent primarily on the effective filtration pressure.