We investigated whether adenovirus-mediated preproinsulin gene transfer into insulin target tissues (adipocytes) ameliorates hyperglycemia in diabetic mice. KKA(y) mice, a genetically obese type 2 diabetic animal model, were treated with a single subcutaneous injection of recombinant adenovirus, Adex1CA-human preproinsulin (Adex1CA-pchi), into the epididymal fat pads. pchi mRNA was expressed only in adipose tissue in which mature insulin was produced. Three days after virus injection these mice showed a marked decrease of blood glucose levels (from about 400 to 200 mg/dl), and an intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test revealed the markedly improved glucose tolerance. There was no significant difference in serum insulin levels between control and recombinant adenovirus-treated KKA(y) mice. The normalized glucose levels in diabetic mice were maintained for at least 2 weeks after the virus injection. This strategy could provide a novel and, most importantly, a simple and convenient gene therapy for obese type 2 diabetes patients.