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Mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis (MsPGN) is characterized by glomerular mesangial cells proliferation and extracellular matrix deposition in mesangial area, which develop into glomerulosclerosis. Both silent information regulator 2-related protein 1 (Sirt1) and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2/anti-oxidant response element (Nrf2/ARE) pathway had remarkable renoprotective effects. However, whether Sirt1 and Nrf2/ARE pathway can regulate the pathological process of MsPGN remains unknown. Here, we found that Sirt1 activation by SRT1720 decreased mesangial hypercellularity and mesangial matrix areas, reduced renal Col4 and α-SMA expressions, lowered 24 h proteinuria, and eventually reduced FN and TGF-β1 expressions in rats received anti-Thy 1.1 IgG. Further study showed that SRT1720 markedly enhanced the activity of Nrf2/ARE pathway including promoting the nuclear content and ARE-binding ability of Nrf2, elevating the protein levels of HO-1 and SOD1, two target genes of Nrf2, which eventually increased total SOD activity and decreased malondialdehyde level in the kidney tissues of experimental anti-Thy 1.1 MsPGN rats. Taken together, Sirt1 prevented the pathological process of experimental anti-Thy 1.1 MsPGN through promoting the activation of Nrf2/ARE pathway, which warrants further elucidation. Sirt1 might be a potential therapeutic target for treating MsPGN.