Numerous studies have investigated specific pathways that link diabetes and high extracellular glucose exposure to glomerulosclerosis and mesangial cell extracellular matrix production. However, only in the past ten years has a role for glucose transporters in this process been addressed. Many different glucose transporters are expressed in glomeruli; of these, the GLUT1 facilitative glucose transporter is upregulated in the diabetic renal cortex and in response to glomerular hypertension, as well as in cultured mesangial cells exposed to high glucose. Transgenic mouse and cell models have recently been developed to test the role of GLUT1 in the pathogenesis of glomerulosclerosis with and without diabetes. Clinical studies of GLUT1 alleles performed in humans have identified GLUT1 susceptibility alleles for diabetic nephropathy. Studies are also currently under way to assess the potential role of GLUT1 in nondiabetic renal disorders.