We investigated the relationship between phosphorylation of alphaB-crystallin (alphaBC) and retinal apoptosis in type 2 diabetes. The retinas of male Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima fatty (OLETF) rats at 24 and 35 weeks were used as an animal model for type 2 diabetes and sex- and age-matched Long-Evans Tokushima Otsuka (LETO) rats were used as controls. In the retinas of 35-week OLETF rats, the interaction between alphaBC and protein kinase C delta (PKC delta) among the PKC isozymes, alphaBC phosphorylation at Ser45 (S45p-alphaBC), TUNEL-positive apoptotic ganglion cells, several apoptotic signs, and co-localization of S45p-alphaBC and TUNEL significantly increased as compared with other groups while the alphaBC-Bax interaction greatly decreased. These changes were abolished by rottlerin treatment, a highly specific PKC delta inhibitor. These results suggest that PKC delta is involved in regulation of anti-apoptotic function of alphaBC in the retina of type 2 diabetes.