SUMMARY: Streptozotocin-induced pancreatic injury is commonly used for creating rodent models of type 1 diabetes which develop renal injury with similarities to human diabetic nephropathy. This model can be established in genetically modified rodents for investigating the role of molecular mechanisms and genetic susceptibility in the development of diabetic nephropathy. In this report, the authors describe and compare the current protocols being used to establish models of diabetic nephropathy in rat and mouse strains using streptozotocin. The authors also list some of the histological criteria and biochemical measurements which are being used to validate these models. In addition, our review explains some of the key aspects involved in these models, including the impact of streptozotocin-dosage, uninephrectomy, hypertension and genetically modified strains, which can each affect the development of disease and the interpretation of findings.