Growth hormone (GH) plays a significant role in normal renal function and overactive GH signaling has been implicated in proteinuria in diabetes and acromegaly. Previous results have shown that the glomerular podocytes, which play an essential role in renal filtration, express the GH receptor, suggesting the direct action of GH on these cells. However, the exact mechanism and the downstream pathways by which excess GH leads to diabetic nephropathy is not established. In the present article, using immortalized human podocytes in vitro and a mouse model in vivo, we show that excess GH activates Notch1 signaling in a γ-secretase- dependent manner. Pharmacological inhibition of Notch1 byγ-secretase inhibitor DAPT (N-[N-(3,5Difluorophenacetyl)-L-alanyl]-S-phenyl glycine t-butylester) abrogates GH-induced epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and is associated with a reduction in podocyte loss. More importantly, our results show that DAPT treatment blocks cytokine release and prevents glomerular fibrosis, all of which are induced by excess GH. Furthermore, DAPT prevented glomerular basement membrane thickening and proteinuria induced by excess GH. Finally, using kidney biopsy sections from people with diabetic nephropathy, we show that Notch signaling is indeed up-regulated in such settings. All these results confirm that excess GH induces Notch1 signaling in podocytes, which contributes to proteinuria through EMT as well as renal fibrosis. Our studies highlight the potential application of γ-secretase inhibitors as a therapeutic target in people with diabetic nephropathy.