The platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) family plays an important role in embryonic development, malignancy, wound healing, atherosclerosis, and fibrosis in multiple organs. It belongs to the best-characterized growth factor systems in normal and diseased kidneys, and there is accumulating evidence that members of the PDGF family are key players in the development of renal fibrosis independent of the underlying kidney disease. All components of the PDGF system, consisting of four isoforms (PDGF-A, -B, -C, -D) and two receptor chains (PDGFR-α and -β), are constitutively or inducibly expressed in most renal cells. They regulate multiple pathophysiologic events, ranging from cell proliferation and migration, extracellular matrix accumulation and production of pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators, to tissue permeability and hemodynamics. This review focuses on advances in defining the roles of different PDGF isoforms in the development of glomerulosclerosis and tubulointerstitial fibrosis. The recent identification of endogenous PDGF inhibitors offers additional novel therapeutic strategies.