Diabetic nephropathy is one of the most serious complications of diabetes and the major cause of end-stage renal failure. Consequences of diabetic nephropathy include increased kidney size and glomerular volume, thickening of basement membranes and progressive accumulation of extracellular matrix. Reports in the literature support an association between increased secretion of inflammatory molecules, such as cytokines, growth factors and metalloproteinases, and development of diabetic nephropathy. We investigated the potential of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) as a therapeutic candidate for preventing diabetic nephropathy. We used 21 8-week-old male rats; 14 were administered a single dose of 60 mg/kg streptozotocin (STZ) to induce diabetes. The rats were divided into three groups of seven: group 1, control; group 2, diabetic; group 3, diabetic plus G-CSF treatment. After 4 weeks, immunoexpressions of transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-beta 1), Akt and CD34 levels were measured in the kidney tissue. Blood glucose, urine protein and the glomerular area also were measured for each group. We found that G-CSF treatment decreased TGF-beta 1 immunoexpression, urine protein and glomerular area in kidneys of diabetic rats, and increased CD 34 and Akt immunoexpression in kidneys of diabetic rats. The effects of G-CSF were independent of blood glucose levels. G-CSF may be a useful therapeutic agent for preventing diabetic nephropathy.