Trans-fatty acids (TFA) and cis-monounsaturated fat appear to exert detrimental and beneficial effects, respectively, on glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Adipose tissue and skeletal muscle are a source of signalling proteins (adipokines and myokines), some of which have been related to the control of insulin sensitivity. Here, we investigated the possible differential effects of elaidic acid (EA; trans-9-18 : 1) – the major component in industrially produced TFA – and oleic acid (OA; cis-9-18 : 1) – its cis-isomer naturally present in food – on cellular glucose uptake and the expression of selected myokines and adipokines using cell models. Differentiated C2C12 myotubes and 3T3-L1 adipocytes were pretreated with the vehicle (control cells) or fatty acids for 24 h, after which basal and insulin-stimulated 2-deoxyglucose uptake and the expression of selected signalling proteins were measured. In C2C12 myotubes, pretreatment with OA, but not with EA, led to increased insulin-stimulated 2-deoxyglucose uptake and IL-6 expression levels, while pretreatment with EA, but not with OA, led to reduced IL-15 mRNA levels and increased TNF-α expression levels. In 3T3-L1 adipocytes, exposure to OA, but not to EA, resulted in reduced resistin gene expression and increased adiponectin gene expression. The results show evidence of distinct, direct effects of OA and EA on muscle glucose uptake and the expression of target myokines and adipokines, thus suggesting novel mechanisms by which cis- and trans-monounsaturated fat may differentially affect systemic functions.