Activation of protein kinase C (PKC) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy with proteinuria and peritubular extracellular matrix production. We have previously shown that the PKC isoforms α and β mediate different cellular effects. PKC-β contributes to hyperglycemia-induced renal matrix production, whereby PKC-α is involved in the development of albuminuria. We further tested this hypothesis by deletion of both isoforms and used a PKC inhibitor. We analyzed the phenotype of nondiabetic and streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic homozygous PKC-α/β double-knockout mice (PKC-α/β(-/-)). After 8 weeks of diabetes mellitus, the high-glucose-induced renal and glomerular hypertrophy as well as transforming growth factor-β1) and extracellular matrix production were diminished in the PKC-α/β(-/-) mice compared with wild-type controls. Urinary albumin/creatinine ratio also was significantly reduced, however, it was not completely abolished in diabetic PKC-α/β(-/-) mice. Treatment with CGP41252, which inhibits PKC-α and PKC-β, is able to prevent the development of albuminuria and to reduce existing albuminuria in type 1 (STZ model) or type 2 (db/db model) diabetic mice. These results support our hypothesis that PKC-α and PKC-β contribute to the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy, and that dual inhibition of the classical PKC isoforms is a suitable therapeutic strategy in the prevention and treatment of diabetic nephropathy.