The diverse intrarenal effects of the prostaglandins (PG) are mediated by distinct guanine nucleotide regulatory protein (G-protein)-coupled receptors. The cDNA for these receptors have been cloned, their signal transduction mechanisms determined, and their intrarenal distribution mapped. PGE2, the major intrarenal prostaglandin, interacts with at least three distinct E-prostanoid (EP) receptors that are highly expressed in specific regions of the kidney. Each EP receptor not only selectively binds PGE2, but also preferentially couples to different signal transduction pathways, including: stimulation of cAMP generation, via Gq (EP2 and EP4 receptors); inhibition of cAMP generation, via Gi (EP3 receptors); and activation of phosphatidylinositol hydrolysis (EP1 receptor), via one of the Gq family members. Activation of each these EP receptors is responsible for a distinct renal effect of PGE2, including its well-described renal hemodynamic and transport effects along the nephron. Other intrarenal prostanoid receptors include the PGF2 alpha receptor (FP), the thromboxane A2 receptor (TP) and the prostacyclin receptor (IP). Knowledge about localization of these receptors and their affinities for receptor-selective agonists and antagonists should aid in the understanding of renal disease and the development of therapeutic strategies for the use of these prostaglandin analogs in select renal diseases.