Aldehyde oxidase 1 (AOX1) is highly abundant in the liver and oxidizes aldehydes thereby generating reactive oxygen species. Enzymes involved in detoxification of aldehydes are expressed in adipocytes and alter adipogenesis, therefore the functional role of AOX1 in adipocytes was analyzed. AOX1 mRNA was higher in visceral compared to subcutaneous human adipose tissue but AOX1 protein was detected in both fat depots. AOX1 expression in adipocytes was confirmed by immunohistochemistry and immunoblot. AOX1 was induced during adipocytic differentiation and was downregulated by fenofibrate in differentiated cells. Knock-down of AOX1 in preadipocytes led to impaired lipid storage and adiponectin release in the differentiated cells. These data indicate that AOX1 is essential for adipogenesis and may link energy and drug metabolism.