Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a bioactive phospholipid present in most tissues and body fluids. LPA acts through specific LPA receptors (LPAR1 to LPAR6) coupled with G protein. LPA binds to receptors and activates multiple cellular signaling pathways, subsequently exerting various biological functions, such as cell proliferation, migration, and apoptosis. LPA also induces cell damage through complex overlapping pathways, including the generation of reactive oxygen species, inflammatory cytokines, and fibrosis. Several reports indicate that the LPA-LPAR axis plays an important role in various diseases, including kidney disease, lung fibrosis, and cancer. Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is one of the most common diabetic complications and the main risk factor for chronic kidney diseases, which mostly progress to end-stage renal disease. There is also growing evidence indicating that the LPA-LPAR axis also plays an important role in inducing pathological alterations of cell structure and function in the kidneys. In this review, we will discuss key mediators or signaling pathways activated by LPA and summarize recent research findings associated with DN.