The intrarenal renin–angiotensin system is critical for the regulation of tubule sodium reabsorption, renal haemodynamics and blood pressure. The excretion of renin in urine can result from its increased filtration, the inhibition of renin reabsorption by megalin in the proximal tubule, or its secretion by the principal cells of the collecting duct. Modest increases in circulating or intrarenal angiotensin II (ANGII) stimulate the synthesis and secretion of angiotensinogen in the proximal tubule, which provides sufficient substrate for collecting duct-derived renin to form angiotensin I (ANGI). In models of ANGII-dependent hypertension, ANGII suppresses plasma renin, suggesting that urinary renin is not likely to be the result of increased filtered load. In the collecting duct, ANGII stimulates the synthesis and secretion of prorenin and renin through the activation of ANGII type 1 receptor (AT1R) expressed primarily by principal cells. The stimulation of collecting duct-derived renin is enhanced by paracrine factors including vasopressin, prostaglandin E2 and bradykinin. Furthermore, binding of prorenin and renin to the prorenin receptor in the collecting duct evokes a number of responses, including the non-proteolytic enzymatic activation of prorenin to produce ANGI from proximal tubule-derived angiotensinogen, which is then converted into ANGII by luminal angiotensin-converting enzyme; stimulation of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) in principal cells; and activation of intracellular pathways linked to the upregulation of cyclooxygenase 2 and profibrotic genes. These findings suggest that dysregulation of the renin–angiotensin system in the collecting duct contributes to the development of hypertension by enhancing sodium reabsorption and the progression of kidney injury.