Twenty-five to 40% of diabetic patients develop diabetic nephropathy, a clinical syndrome that comprises renal failure and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. It represents the major cause of chronic kidney disease and is associated with premature morbimortality of diabetic patients. Multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) contribute to the regeneration of several organs, including acutely injured kidney. We sought to evaluate if MSC protect kidney function and structure when endovenously administered to mice with severe diabetes. A month after nonimmunologic diabetes induction by streptozotocin injection, C57BL/6 mice presented hyperglycemia, glycosuria, hypoinsulinemia, massive beta-pancreatic islet destruction, low albuminuria, but not renal histopathologic changes (DM mice). At this stage, one group of animals received the vehicle (untreated) and other group received 2 doses of 0.5 x 10(6) MSC/each (MSC-treated). Untreated DM mice gradually increased urinary albumin excretion and 4 months after diabetes onset, they reached values 15 times higher than normal animals. In contrast, MSC-treated DM mice maintained basal levels of albuminuria. Untreated DM mice had marked glomerular and tubular histopathologic changes (sclerosis, mesangial expansion, tubular dilatation, proteins cylinders, podocytes lost). However, MSC-treated mice showed only slight tubular dilatation. Observed renoprotection was not associated with an improvement in endocrine pancreas function in this animal model, because MSC-treated DM mice remained hyperglycemic and hypoinsulinemic, and maintained few remnant beta-pancreatic islets throughout the study period. To study MSC biodistribution, cells were isolated from isogenic mice that constitutively express GFP (MSC(GFP)) and endovenously administered to DM mice. Although at very low levels, donor cells were found in kidney of DM mice 3 month after transplantation. Presented preclinical results support MSC administration as a cell therapy strategy to prevent chronic renal diseases secondary to diabetes.