Dopamine plays an important role in the pathogenesis of hypertension by regulating epithelial sodium transport, vascular smooth muscle contractility and production of reactive oxygen species and by interacting with the renin–angiotensin and sympathetic nervous systems. Dopamine receptors are classified into D1-like (D1 and D5) and D2-like (D2, D3 and D4) subtypes based on their structure and pharmacology. Each of the dopamine receptor subtypes participates in the regulation of blood pressure by mechanisms specific for the subtype. Some receptors regulate blood pressure by influencing the central and/or peripheral nervous system; others influence epithelial transport and regulate the secretion and receptors of several humoral agents. This review summarizes the physiology of the different dopamine receptors in the regulation of blood pressure, and the relationship between dopamine receptor subtypes and hypertension.

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