Prorenin, a precursor of renin, was measured in sera from normal subjects and type 2 diabetic patients, using a newly developed antibody-activating direct enzyme kinetic assay. Levels of prorenin were examined in relationship to diabetic microangiopathies. The levels of antibody-activating direct prorenin (AAD-PR) were approximately 1.5-fold higher than levels of prorenin measured by a conventional enzyme-activating method. AAD-PR levels were significantly higher in males than in females and in diabetic patients than in normal subjects. Moreover, AAD-PR levels were higher in diabetic patients with microalbuminuria and even higher in those with macroalbuminuria. In normoalbuminuric diabetic patients, AAD-PR levels were higher in those with retinopathy. Furthermore, a significant positive correlation was seen between the AAD-PR levels and HbA(lc) in normoalbuminuric diabetic subjects without retinopathy. Thus, the determination of circulating serum prorenin measured as AAD-PR is related to glycemia and in type 2 diabetic patients may be a risk marker of diabetic microangiopathy. More studies are necessary to determine whether AAD-PR may actually predict the development of microangiopathy.