Renal blood flow, glomerular filtration rate and sodium excretion are known to be affected by adenosine. The present studies were undertaken to investigate the actions of adenosine and its analogs (both agonists and antagonists) on phosphoinositide (PI) hydrolysis in the outer medullary slices. Adenosine was found to cause a dose-dependent stimulation of PI hydrolysis (ED50, 2.8 μM) in renal slices from outer medulla. The adenosine analogs 5’-(N-cyclopropyl)-carboxamidoadenosine (NCCA) and 5’-N-ethylcarboxamidoadenosine (NECA) also stimulated PI hydrolysis in renal medulla. Stimulation of PI hydrolysis was blocked by the adenosine antagonists: aminophylline, 1,3-dipropyl-7-methylxanthine (DMX) and 8-(p-sulfophenyl)-theophylline (8-SPT). Caffeine not only antagonized adeno-sine-stimulated PI hydrolysis but also increased PI hydrolysis independently. These results indicate that adenosine stimulates PI hydrolysis in renal medulla through a receptor-mediated mechanism.