This is the first report on immunofluorescence staining of renal biopsy samples in human diabetic nephropathy (DN) using monoclonal antibodies to reduced glycated lysine. In order to detect the localization of glycated lysine in the mesangial matrix and/or the glomerular basement membrane (GBM), we examined immunofluorescence staining using antibodies against reduced glycated lysine in the glomeruli of 16 patients with DN and ten age-matched patients with diffuse mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis without IgA deposition (DPGN) as controls. In the early stage of DN, immunofluorescence microscopy revealed the presence of intense staining for reduced glycated lysine in the GBM as well as in part of the tubular basement membrane, but not in the mesangial area. In contrast, immunofluorescence microscopy revealed less staining for glycated lysine in the GBM in the advanced stage of DN, and no reaction with any part of the renal tissue in patients with DPGN. It was concluded that detection of reduced glycated lysine in GBM in the early stage of DN might be associated with the initial pathogenesis of this disease.