Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that plays a critical role in metabolism. Thiazolidinediones, high-affinity PPARgamma ligands used clinically to treat type II diabetes, have been reported to lower blood pressure and provide other cardiovascular benefits. Some mutations in PPARgamma (PPARG) cause type II diabetes and severe hypertension. Here we tested the hypothesis that PPARgamma in vascular muscle plays a role in the regulation of vascular tone and blood pressure. Transgenic mice expressing dominant-negative mutations in PPARgamma under the control of a smooth-muscle-specific promoter exhibit a loss of responsiveness to nitric oxide and striking alterations in contractility in the aorta, hypertrophy and inward remodeling in the cerebral microcirculation, and systolic hypertension. These results identify PPARgamma as pivotal in vascular muscle as a regulator of vascular structure, vascular function, and blood pressure, potentially explaining some of the cardioprotective effects of thiazolidinediones.