We have recently demonstrated that three signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) family members are induced during adipocyte differentiation (Stephens et al., J. Biol. Chem. 271 (1996) 10441-10444). Since STATs 1, 5A, and 5B are induced during adipocyte differentiation, we have examined the ability of these proteins to be regulated by components of the differentiation cocktail. In addition, we have examined the effects of potent effectors of differentiation on STAT protein expression during adipogenesis. A negative effector, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFalpha), and a positive effector, a thiazolidinedione, were used in these experiments. Our results demonstrate that the expression of STATs 1, 5A, and 5B is not dramatically influenced by individual components of the differentiation cocktail. However, the expression of these three STAT family members tightly correlates with lipid accumulation. Moreover, the expression of STATs 1, 5A, and 5B, but not STATs 3 and 6, are regulated in an identical fashion to both C/AAAT enhancer binding proteins alpha and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma by TNFalpha and a thiazolidinedione. Furthermore, the expression of adipocyte-expressed JAK kinases are unaffected by effectors of differentiation. These findings suggest that three STAT family members may play a role in the regulation of adipocyte gene expression.