MAP kinase stimulation is a key signaling event in the AT 1 receptor (AT 1R)-mediated chronic stimulation of tyrosine hydroxylase and norepinephrine transporter in brain neurons by angiotensin II (Ang II). In this study, we investigated the involvement of MAP kinase in AT 1R phosphorylation to further our understanding of these persistent neuromodulatory actions of Ang II. Ang II caused a time-dependent phosphorylation of neuronal AT 1R. This phosphorylation was associated with internalization and translocation of AT 1R into the nucleus. MAP kinase also stimulated phosphorylation of neuronal AT 1R. The conclusion that MAP kinase participates in neuronal AT 1R phosphorylation and its targeting into the nucleus is supported further by the following. (1) MAP kinase-mediated phosphorylation of AT 1R was blocked by the AT 1R antagonist losartan; (2) AT 1R co-immunoprecipitated with MAP kinase; (3) MAP kinase-kinase inhibitor PD98059 attenuated Ang II-induced phosphorylation of AT 1R; and (4) PD98059 blocked Ang II-induced nuclear translocation of AT 1Rs. In summary, these observations demonstrate that Ang II-induced phosphorylation of AT 1R is mediated by its activation of MAP kinase. A possible role of AT 1R translocation into the nucleus on persistent neuromodulatory actions of Ang II has been discussed.