Visceral adipose tissue and skeletal muscle have central roles in determining whole-body insulin sensitivity. The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) is a potential mediator of insulin sensitivity. It can directly modulate the expression of genes that are involved in glucose and lipid metabolism, including GLUT4, lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and adipocytokines (leptin and adiponectin). In this study, we aimed to determine the effects of obesity-associated insulin resistance on mRNA expression of PPARγ and its target genes. Dogs were studied when they were lean and at the end of an overfeeding period when they had reached a steady obese state. The use of a sensitive, real-time PCR assay allowed a relative quantification of mRNA expression for PPARγ, LPL, GLUT4, leptin and adiponectin, in adipose tissue and skeletal muscle. In visceral adipose tissue and/or skeletal muscle, mRNA expression of PPARγ, LPL and GLUT4 were at least 2-fold less in obese and insulin-resistant dogs compared with the same animals when they were lean and insulin-sensitive. The mRNA expression and plasma concentration of leptin was increased, whereas the plasma level and mRNA expression of adiponectin was decreased, by obesity. In adipose tissue, PPARγ expression was correlated with leptin and adiponectin. These findings, in an original model of obesity induced by a prolonged period of overfeeding, showed that insulin resistance is associated with a decrease in PPARγ mRNA expression that could dysregulate expression of several genes involved in glucose and lipid metabolism.