The effect of renal vasodilation produced by the dopamine DA1-receptor agonist, fenoldopam (SKF-82526), on tubuloglomerular feedback (TGF) activity and the autoregulation of renal blood flow (RBF) was determined in euvolemic rats. Fenoldopam (2.5 μg · kg-1 · min-1 iv) increased RBF by 17% (electromagnetic flow probe) while glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was unchanged; mean arterial pressure was decreased by 6%. Superficial cortical blood flow was increased by 12% (laser-Doppler flowmetry) while single-nephron GFR (SNGFR) and estimated glomerular capillary pressure (stop-flow pressure, P(sf)) were stable. SNGFR measured at proximal and distal sites along the same nephron was not affected by fenoldopam. Partial inhibition of TGF was indicated by the constancy of distal SNGFR and the proximal-distal SNGFR difference in the presence of increased distal delivery of native fluid. However, fenoldopam did not affect feedback control of P(sf) evaluated by perfusing artificial fluid through Henle's loop at 0-62 nl/min. Despite the decrease in renal vascular resistance over an arterial pressure range of 130 to 70 mmHg, RBF was autoregulated efficiently during fenoldopam infusion. These results indicate that DA1-receptor activation dilates the preglomerular and efferent arterioles without affecting GFR or glomerular pressure. However, this vasodilatory mechanism operates independent of autoregulation and TGF-induced changes in glomerular pressure such that preglomerular vessels remain responsive to the appropriate signals from these intrinsic control systems. The ability of fenoldopam to blunt feedback control of SNGFR may depend on changes in the filtration coefficient independent of glomerular pressure and/or a constituent of natural tubular fluid.