Adiponectin protects the vascular system partly through stimulation of endothelial nitric oxide (NO) production and endothelium-dependent vasodilation. The current study investigated the role of two recently identified adiponectin receptors, AdipoR1 and -R2, and their downstream effectors in mediating the endothelium actions of adiponectin. In human umbilical vein endothelial cells, adiponectin-induced phosphorylation of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) at Ser(1177) and NO production were abrogated when expression of AdipoR1 and -R2 were simultaneously suppressed. Proteomic analysis demonstrated that the cytoplasmic tails of both AdipoR1 and -R2 interacted with APPL1, an adaptor protein that contains a PH (pleckstrin homology) domain, a PTB (phosphotyrosine-binding) domain, and a Leucine zipper motif. Suppression of APPL1 expression by RNA interference significantly attenuated adiponectin-induced phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) at Thr(172) and eNOS at Ser(1177), and the complex formation between eNOS and heat shock protein 90, resulting in a marked reduction of NO production. Adenovirus-mediated overexpression of a constitutively active version of AMPK reversed these changes. In db/db diabetic mice, both APPL1 expression and adiponectin-induced vasodilation were significantly decreased compared with their lean littermates. Taken together, these results suggest that APPL1 acts as a common downstream effector of AdipoR1 and -R2, mediating adiponectin-evoked endothelial NO production and endothelium-dependent vasodilation.