Metabolic disorders in HIV-infected patients, especially those receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) regimens containing protease inhibitors, are associated with insulin resistance. These metabolic disorders include fat redistribution, diabetes, and hypertriglyceridemia. Thiazolidinediones (TZDs) are used to treat patients with diabetes secondary to insulin resistance, and TZDs are being studied in HAART-related metabolic disorders. We studied the effects of TZDs (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma [PPARgamma] agonists) and a PPARalpha agonist on HIV replication and TNFalpha production in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) acutely infected with HIV-1, in a chronically infected monoblastoid cell line (U1) and in alveolar macrophages (AMs) from HIV-infected subjects and uninfected controls. Rosiglitazone, ciglitazone, troglitazone, and PgJ (PPARgamma agonists) as well as fenofibrate (PPARalpha agonist) inhibited HIV replication in both PBMCs and U1 cells. These agents also inhibited TNFalpha production, but the magnitude of TNFalpha inhibition was not directly correlated with the quantitative decreases in HIV replication. In AMs, ciglitazone, rosiglitazone, and troglitazone reduced TNFalpha production. We hypothesize that alterations in mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathways have contemporaneous and interrelated effects on HIV replication, cytokine production, and lipid metabolism. Modulation of these pathways using PPAR agonists may improve the metabolic alterations during HAART in conjunction with desirable decreases in HIV replication and TNFalpha production.