Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease characterized by anomalies forming in carbohydrate, lipid, protein metabolisms and the incidence of this disease varies widely throughout the world. Zinc is an important element which is essential for life and is present in nature. In this study, the animals were divided into four groups. These groups were named as untreated; zinc sulfate; streptozotocin (STZ); STZ and zinc sulfate. KZ (65 mg/kg) was dissolved in a freshly prepared 0.01 M pH 4.5 citrate buffer and given with intraperitoneal injection in a single dose. Zinc sulfate (100 mg/kg) was dissolved in distilled water and given to the animals by gavage at a daily dose for 60 days. The rats were sacrificed under ether anesthesia. This study was aimed to investigate histological and biochemical changes of zinc supplementation on the kidney tissue in STZ-induced diabetic rats. In the current study, histological and histochemical observations showed that the occurred degenerative changes decreased after giving zinc in the kidney tissue of diabetic group. Kidney glutathione (GSH) levels decreased and lipid peroxidation (PO), nonenzymatic glycosylation (NEG), urea and creatinine levels increased in diabetic rats. GSH levels increased, while LPO, NEG, urea and creatinine levels decreased in the kidney with administration of zinc to diabetic rats. As a result, we observed curative effects of zinc given to diabetic rats. We can say that zinc may be an important antioxidant for the treatment of secondary complications of diabetes in kidney tissue. (C) 2012 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.