Our previous study indicated that Casein kinase 2 interacting protein-1 (CKIP-1) could promote the activation of the nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)/ antioxidant response element (ARE) pathway, playing a significant role in inhibiting the fibrosis of diabetic nephropathy (DN). Polydatin (PD) has been shown to possess strong resistance effects on renal fibrosis which is closely related to activating the Nrf2/ARE pathway, too. Whereas, whether PD could resist DN through regulating CKIP-1 and consequently promoting the activation of Nrf2-ARE pathway needs further investigation. Here, we found that PD significantly reversed the down-regulation of CKIP-1 and attenuated fibronectin (FN) and intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) in glomerular mesangial cells (GMCs) exposed to high glucose (HG). Moreover, PD could decrease Keap1 expression and promote the nuclear content, ARE-binding ability, and transcriptional activity of Nrf2. The activation of Nrf2-ARE pathway by PD eventually led to the quenching of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and superoxide overproduction boosted by HG. Depletion of CKIP-1 blocked the Nrf2-ARE pathway activation and reversed FN and ICAM-1 down-regulation induced by PD in GMCs challenged with HG. PD increased CKIP-1 and Nrf2 levels in the kidney tissues as well as improved the anti-oxidative effect and renal dysfunction of diabetic mice, which eventually reversed the up-regulation of FN and ICAM-1. Experiments above suggested that PD could increase the CKIP-1-Nrf2-ARE pathway activation to prevent the OSS-induced insult in GMCs and diabetic mice which effectively postpone the diabetic renal fibrosis and the up-regulation of CKIP-1 is probably a novel mechanism in this process.