Tubulointerstitial fibrosis is an important component in the development of diabetic nephropathy. Various renal cell types, including fibroblasts, contribute to the excessive matrix deposition in the kidney. Although transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) has been thought to play a major role during fibrosis, other growth factors are also involved. Here we examined the effects of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) and IGF-I on collagen type I and III production by human renal fibroblasts and their involvement in glucose-induced matrix accumulation. We have demonstrated that both CTGF and IGF-I expressions were increased in renal fibroblasts under hyperglycemic conditions, also in the absence of TGF-beta signaling. Although CTGF alone had no effect on collagen secretion, combined stimulation with IGF-I enhanced collagen accumulation. Furthermore, IGF-I also had a synergistic effect with glucose on the induction of collagens. Moreover, we observed a partial inhibition in glucose-induced collagen secretion with neutralizing anti-CTGF antibodies, thereby demonstrating for the first time the involvement of endogenous CTGF in glucose-induced effects in human renal fibroblasts. Therefore, the cooperation between CTGF and IGF-I might be involved in glucose-induced matrix accumulation in tubulointerstitial fibrosis and might contribute to the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy.