The functional roles of the capsaicin receptor, TRPV1, outside of sensory nerves are unclear. We mapped TRPV1 in the mouse circulation, revealing extensive expression in the smooth muscle of resistance arterioles supplying skeletal muscle, heart and adipose. Activation of TRPV1 in vascular myocytes constricted arteries, reduced coronary flow in isolated hearts, and increased systemic blood pressure. These functional effects were retained after sensory nerve ablation, indicating specific signalling by arterial TRPV1. TRPV1 mediated the vasoconstrictive and blood pressure responses to the endogenous inflammatory lipid, lysophosphatidic acid. These results show that TRPV1 in arteriolar myocytes modulates regional blood flow and systemic blood pressure, and suggest that TRPV1 may be a target of vasoactive inflammatory mediators.