Degradation of glomerular basement membrane in diabetic and nondiabetic rats was measured by incubating isolated basement membrane with a homogenate of glomeruli obtained from metabolically healthy rats. When diabetic basement membrane was used, there was a marked decrease in the amount of collagen-typical (hydroxyproline, hydroxylysine, glycine) and noncollagen-typical amino acids (proline, lysine, leucine) released in the supernatant of the incubation assay. A negative correlation was found between the amount of collagen-typical amino acids released by diabetic basement membrane and the duration of diabetes. The results indicate that the collagenous and noncollagenous peptides of diabetic basement membrane are less susceptible to proteolytic degradation than those of nondiabetic controls. This may be due to increased nonenzymatic glycosylation of diabetic basement membrane.