Retinal neuropathy is an early event in the development of diabetic retinopathy. One of the potential enzymes that are activated by oxidative stress in the diabetic retina is poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). We investigated the effect of the PARP inhibitor 1,5-isoquinolinediol on the expression of the neurodegeneration mediators and markers in the retinas of diabetic rats. After two weeks of streptozotocin-induced diabetes, rats were treated with 1,5-isoquinolinediol (3 mg/kg/day). After 4 weeks of diabetes, the retinas were harvested and the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were determined fluorometrically and the expressions of PARP, phosporylated-ERK1/2, BDNF, synaptophysin, glutamine synthetase (GS), and caspase-3 were determined by Western blot analysis. Retinal levels of ROS, PARP-1/2, phosphorylated ERK1/2, and cleaved caspase-3 were significantly increased, whereas the expressions of BDNF synaptophysin and GS were significantly decreased in the retinas of diabetic rats, compared to nondiabetic rats. Administration of 1,5-isoquinolinediol did not affect the metabolic status of the diabetic rats, but it significantly attenuated diabetes-induced upregulation of PARP, ROS, ERK1/2 phosphorylation, and cleaved caspase-3 and downregulation of BDNF, synaptophysin, and GS. These findings suggest a beneficial effect of the PARP inhibitor in increasing neurotrophic support and ameliorating early retinal neuropathy induced by diabetes.