Adipocyte dysfunction is strongly associated with the development of obesity and insulin resistance. It is accepted that the regulation of adipocytokine secretion or the adipocyte specific gene expression is one of the most important targets for the prevention of obesity and amelioration of insulin sensitivity. Recently, we demonstrated that anthocyanins, which are pigments widespread in the plant kingdom, have the potency of anti-obesity in mice and the enhancement adipocytokine secretion and adipocyte gene expression in adipocytes. In this study, we have shown for the first time the gene expression profile in isolated rat adipocytes treated with anthocyanins (cyanidin 3-glucoside; C3G or cyanidin; Cy). The rat adipocytes were treated with 100 muM C3G, Cy or vehicle for 24 h. The total RNA from the adipocytes was isolated and carried out GeneChip microarray analysis. A total of 633 or 427 genes was up-regulated (>1.5-fold) by the treatment of adipocytes with C3G or Cy, respectively. The up-regulated genes include lipid metabolism and signal transduction-related genes, however, the altered genes were partly different between the C3G- and Cy-treated groups. Based on the gene expression profile, we demonstrated the up-regulation of hormone sensitive lipase and enhancement of the lipolytic activity by the treatment of adipocytes with C3G or Cy. These data have provided an overview of the gene expression profiles in adipocytes treated with anthocyanins and identified new responsive genes with potentially important functions in adipocytes related with obesity and diabetes that merit further investigation.