Type 2 diabetic nephropathy (DN) is the most common cause of end-stage renal disease and is increasingly considered as an inflammatory disease characterized by leukocyte infiltration at every stage of renal involvement. Inflammation and activation of the immune system are closely involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes and its microvascular complications. Macrophage has been well recognized to play an important role in type 2 DN, leukocyte infiltration, and participated in process of DN, as was proposed recently. Th1, Th2, Th17, T reg, and cytotoxic T cells are involved in the development and progression of DN. The purpose of this review is to assemble current information concerning the role of T cells in the development and progression of type 2 DN. Specific emphasis is placed on the potential interaction and contribution of the T cells to renal damage. The therapeutic strategies involving T cells in the treatment of type 2 DN are also reviewed. Improving knowledge of the recognition of T cells as significant pathogenic mediators in DN reinforces the possibility of new potential therapeutic targets translated into future clinical treatments.