Kidney interstitial fibroblast proliferation is important in the pathogenesis of diabetic renal fibrosis. In this regard, advanced glycation end-product (AGE)-induced proliferation in normal rat kidney interstitial fibroblast (NRK-49F) cells is dependent on the Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) pathway. Heat shock protein (Hsp) is a molecular target of JAK/STAT. Thus, the role of Hsp70 in AGE-induced mitogenesis in NRK-49F cells was studied. The AGE dose (100-200 microg/mL) and time (16-72 h) dependently increased Hsp70 protein expression. AGE-induced Hsp70 was attenuated by AG-490 (a JAK2 inhibitor) and N-acetylcysteine. AGE also increased tyrosine phosphorylation of Hsp70, cyclin E, and cyclin D1 (to a lesser extent) while increasing Hsp70 protein interactions with STAT1, STAT3, STAT5b, cyclin D1, and cyclin E. AGE-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of Hsp70 and cyclin E (but not cyclin D1) was attenuated by AG-490. AGE-induced mitogenesis, cyclin D1, and cyclin E were attenuated by Hsp70 antisense oligodeoxynucleotide and 2-aminopurine (an Hsp70 inhibitor). AGE-induced Hsp70 and mitogenesis were also attenuated by N-acetylcysteine. It was concluded that AGE-induced Hsp70 protein expression and tyrosine phosphorylation are dependent on JAK2 in NRK-49F cells. AGE increased protein-protein interactions among Hsp70, STAT1, STAT3, STAT5b, cyclin D1, and cyclin E. Moreover, AGE-induced mitogenesis is dependent on Hsp70 and oxidative stress.