Leptin mainly acts on the hypothalamus in the brain, in which it regulates food intake and energy expenditure. However, the direct effects of leptin on adipocytes have been controversial in the cellular level. In this study, the effects of leptin on rosiglitazone-induced adipocyte differentiation were investigated in the primary preadipocytes prepared from subcutaneous fat tissues of C57BL/6-Lep(ob/ob) mouse. We found that acute and prolonged treatment of leptin on preadipocytes inhibited the rosiglitazone-induced transcription factor expression and adipocyte differentiation, respectively, accompanied with decreased expression of PPARgamma and aP2. Either PD98059, an ERK inhibitor or fludarabine, a STAT1 inhibitor restored leptin-inhibited PPARgamma expression and subsequent lipid accumulation, but inhibitors for PI-3K (LY294002) and for STAT3 (piceatannol) did not. Furthermore, leptin decreased PPARgamma expression also in fully differentiated adipocytes, which was reversed by either PD98059 or fludarabine. Taken together, these data suggest that leptin has a direct inhibitory effect on the rosiglitazone-induced adipocyte differentiation and PPARgamma expression, in which ERK1/2 MAP kinase and JAK/STAT1 signaling pathways are involved.