Nephrin is an important constituent of the glomerular filtration barrier and alteration of its expression is associated with severe proteinuria. In this study we show that injection of an anti-Thy1.1 antibody in rats not only induces a mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis associated with increased proteinuria, but also leads to a sustained increase of nephrin mRNA and protein expression in renal glomeruli over a time period of 29 days. In contrast, podocin and CD2AP, two proteins shown to interact with nephrin in the slit diaphragm, are acutely downregulated at days 3–7 and, thereafter, recovered again to normal levels after 29 days. Interestingly, immunofluorescence staining of kidney sections at day 10 of the disease shows a highly heterogeneous pattern, in that some podocytes show complete absence of nephrin, whereas others show highly accumulated staining for nephrin compared to control sections, which in total results in an increased level of nephrin per glomerulus. In summary, our data show that in the course of mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis in rats, an upregulation of nephrin expression occurs with a concomitant transient downregulation of podocin and CD2AP which may account for a highly dysregulated filtration barrier and increased proteinuria.