The nonpeptide angiotensin II receptor antagonists, DuP 753 and PD123177, have been recently proposed to efficiently discriminate between two receptor subtypes. Because angiotensin II uses two signaling systems to control transport in the proximal tubule, the hypothesis was entertained that angiotensin-regulated proximal reabsorption might be transduced through two receptor subtypes and, therefore, have two components, sensitive to either DuP 753 or PD123177. Using in vivo microperfusion in the rat, a maximally effective dose of PD123177 (60 or 120 mg/kg, i.v.) had a powerful inhibitory effect on transport in the S1 proximal tubule, significantly (P less than .001) reducing bicarbonate absorption by 50% (360 +/- 4 to 179 +/- 8 peq/mm.min), chloride absorption by 38% (211 +/- 1 to 131 +/- 4 peq/mm.min) and sodium and water absorption by 32% (5.7 +/- 0.1 to 3.9 +/- 0.5 nl/mm.min). These results were only slightly different than previously reported effects on proximal solute and water absorption by DuP 753 (10 mg/kg). The two drugs demonstrated virtually no additivity in their transport inhibitory effects. Although downstream reabsorptive elements compensate for the powerful action of PD123177 in the earliest segment of the nephron, we also showed, using free-flow micropuncture and clearance techniques, that PD123177 induces a substantial diuresis, natriuresis and chloruresis, again similar in magnitude to DuP 753. These results suggest PD123177 has diuretic potency roughly equivalent to that of DuP 753, but do not lend support to the simple thesis that there are two separately acting receptor-signal transduction systems in the proximal tubule for angiotensin II.