In order to investigate the influence of diabetes mellitus on immune complex-mediated nephritis, we produced Heymann nephritis in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats (DM-HN group) in which the clinical course for 24 weeks and histological changes were examined. Nondiabetic rats with Heymann nephritis (HN group) and diabetic rats (DM group) were also examined as controls. The degree of proteinuria, hypoproteinemia, hyperlipidemia and anemia were more pronounced and the mortality rate was higher in the DM-HN group than in the HN group or in the DM group. Histologically, larger and more subepithelial or intramembranous electron-dense deposits as well as a more markedly thickened glomerular basement membrane (GBM) were observed in the DM-HN group than in the HN group. In conclusion, the nephrotic manifestations and histological changes in the GBM in Heymann nephritis were augmented by the association with diabetes mellitus.