Urinary acidification in the collecting duct is mediated by the activity of H(+)-ATPases and is stimulated by various factors including angiotensin II and aldosterone. Classically, aldosterone effects are mediated via the mineralocorticoid receptor. Recently, we demonstrated a nongenomic stimulatory effect of aldosterone on H(+)-ATPase activity in acid-secretory intercalated cells of isolated mouse outer medullary collecting ducts (OMCD). Here we investigated the intracellular signaling cascade mediating this stimulatory effect. Aldosterone stimulated H(+)-ATPase activity in isolated mouse and human OMCDs. This effect was blocked by suramin, a general G protein inhibitor, and GP-2A, a specific G(αq) inhibitor, whereas pertussis toxin was without effect. Inhibition of phospholipase C with U-73122, chelation of intracellular Ca(2+) with BAPTA, and blockade of protein kinase C prevented the stimulation of H(+)-ATPases. Stimulation of PKC by DOG mimicked the effect of aldosterone on H(+)-ATPase activity. Similarly, aldosterone and DOG induced a rapid translocation of H(+)-ATPases to the luminal side of OMCD cells in vivo. In addition, PD098059, an inhibitor of ERK1/2 activation, blocked the aldosterone and DOG effects. Inhibition of PKA with H89 or KT2750 prevented and incubation with 8-bromoadenosine-cAMP mildly increased H(+)-ATPase activity. Thus, the nongenomic modulation of H(+)-ATPase activity in OMCD-intercalated cells by aldosterone involves several intracellular pathways and may be mediated by a G(αq) protein-coupled receptor and PKC. PKA and cAMP appear to have a modulatory effect. The rapid nongenomic action of aldosterone may participate in the regulation of H(+)-ATPase activity and contribute to final urinary acidification.