We aimed to test the protective effect of dopexamine on renal function and systemic haemodynamics in rats with induced sepsis. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized into three equal groups: group 1 (control, received 3% creatinine throughout the experiment); group 2 (sepsis, received 3% creatinine and Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide [LPS] endotoxin [8 mg/kg per h]); and group 3 (sepsis plus dopexamine, received 3% creatinine, E. coli LPS and dopexamine [1 mug/kg per min]). Time-adjusted heart rate, systolic, diastolic and mean arterial pressures, urine volume and glomerular filtration rate (from creatinine clearance) were recorded. After bacterial infusion heart rate increased and mean arterial pressure decreased; the fall in mean arterial pressure was less pronounced with dopexamine (group 3) than without (group 2). Dopexamine also induced significant and moderate increases in urine volume and heart rate, respectively. We concluded that dopexamine has some positive inotropic-chronotropic effects and induces favourable responses in renal function.