5-HT is a powerful vasoconstrictor substance in renal vasculature (mainly by 5-HT₂ activation). Nevertheless, 5-HT is notable for its dual cardiovascular effects, producing both vasodilator and vasoconstrictor actions. This study aimed to investigate whether, behind the predominant serotonergic vasoconstrictor action, THE 5-HT system may exert renal vasodilator actions, and, if so, characterize the 5-HT receptors and possible indirect pathways. Renal perfusion pressure (PP), systemic blood pressure (SBP) and heart rate (HR) measurement in in situ autoperfused rat kidney was determined in phenylephrine infused rats. Intra arterial (i.a.) bolus administration of 5-HT (0.00000125-0.1 μg/kg) decreased renal PP in the presence of a phenylephrine continuous infusion (phenylephrine-infusion group), without modifying SBP or HR. These vasodilator responses were potentiated by 5-HT₂ antagonism (ritanserin, 1 mg/kg i.v.), whereas the responses were abolished by 5-HT₁ /₇ antagonist (methiothepin, 100 μg/kg i.v.) or 5-HT1D antagonist (LY310762, 1 mg/kg i.v.). The i.a. administration (0.00000125 to 0.1 μg/kg) of 5-CT or L-694,247 (5-HT1D agonist) mimicked 5-HT vasodilator effect, while other agonists (1-PBG, α-methyl-5-HT, AS-19 (5-HT₇), 8-OH-DPAT (5-HT1A) or CGS-12066B (5-HT1B)) did not alter baseline haemodynamic variables. L-694,247 vasodilation was abolished by i.v. bolus of antagonists LY310762 (5-HT1D, 1 mg/kg) or L-NAME (nitric oxide, 10 mg/kg), but not by i.v. bolus of indomethacin (cyclooxygenase, 2 mg/kg) or glibenclamide (ATP-dependent K(+) channel, 20 mg/kg). These outcomes suggest that 5-HT1D activation produces a vasodilator effect in the in situ autoperfused kidney of phenylephrine-infusion rats mediated by the NO pathway.