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There is increasing evidence that the intrarenal dopaminergic system plays an important role in the regulation of blood pressure, and defects in dopamine signaling appear to be involved in the development of hypertension. Recent experimental models have definitively demonstrated that abnormalities in intrarenal dopamine production or receptor signaling can predispose to salt-sensitive hypertension and a dysregulated renin-angiotensin system. In addition, studies in both experimental animal models and in humans with salt-sensitive hypertension implicate abnormalities in dopamine receptor regulation due to receptor desensitization resulting from increased G-protein receptor kinase 4 (GRK4) activity. Functional polymorphisms that predispose to increased basal GRK4 activity both decrease dopamine receptor activity and increase angiotensin II type 1 (AT1) receptor activity and are associated with essential hypertension in a number of different human cohorts.