Background: Complement receptor type 1 on erythrocytes (E-CR1) plays important roles not only in the regulation of complement activation, but also the clearance of immune complexes. Reduced E-CR1 was previously found in patients undergoing hemodialysis (HD). We investigated whether the E-CR1level in HD patients with diabetic nephropathy (DMN) is decreased. The levels of decay accelerating factor (DAF) and CD59 on erythrocytes (E) were also determined to ascertain whether the loss of CR1 is a specific phenomenon or other complement regulatory proteins are also affected. Methods: The levels of CR1, DAF, and CD59 on E were analyzed in 176 HD patients with DMN, 101 HD patients with non-diabetes mellitus renal diseases (non-DMN), and 108 healthy individuals. Hind III restriction fragment length polymorphism of intron 27 of the CR1 gene was analyzed. The serum-soluble CR1 levelwas measured by ELISA. Results: The E-CR1 level was significantly lower in the DMN group than the non-DMN group (p < 0.0001) and healthy individuals (p < 0.05). The E-CR1 level was significantly higher in the non-DMN group than in healthy individuals (p < 0.01). The levels of E-DAF and E-CD59 were significantly lower in the DMN group than non-DMN group (DAF, p < 0.01; CD59, p < 0.0001). Within each genotype of the CR1 gene, the E-CR1 level was significantly lower in the DMN group than in the non-DMN group and healthy individuals (non-DMN, p < 0.01; healthy individuals, p < 0.05). The serum-soluble CR1 level was significantly higher in the DMN group than non-DMN group and control group (p < 0.01 each). However, soluble CR1 did not correlate with E-CR1. Conclusion: Acquired loss of E-CR1 was found among HD patients with DMN. From the viewpoint of host defense, it may be a prognostic factor.