Diabetes is characterized by changed homeostasis of blood glucose levels, which is associated with various complications, including cardiomyopathy, atherosclerosis, endothelial dysfunction, nephropathy, retinopathy and neuropathy. In recent years, accumulative evidence has demonstrated that circular RNAs are identified as a novel type of noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) involving in the regulation of various physiological processes and pathologic conditions. Specifically, the emergence of complications response to diabetes is finely controlled by a complex gene regulatory network in which circular RNAs play a critical role. Recently, circular RNAs are emerging as messengers that could influence cellular functions under diabetic conditions. Dysregulation of circular RNAs has been closely linked to the pathophysiology of diabetes-related complications. In this review, we aimed to summarize the current progression and underlying mechanisms of circular RNA in the development of diabetes-related complications. We will also provide an overview of circular RNA-regulated cell communications in different types of cells that have been linked to diabetic complications. We anticipated that the completion of this review will provide potential clues for developing novel circular RNAs-based biomarkers or therapeutic targets for diabetes and its associated complications.Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.