Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR-γ),which is mainly involved in adipocyte differentiation, has been suggested to play an important role in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and atherosclerosis. We investi-gated the frequencies of two common tagging polymorphisms of the PPAR-γ gene and two of PPAR-α with minor allele frequency (MAF) ≥0.05 in the Chinese Han population and analyzed the correlation between the different genotypes and the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). TaqMan? assay was performed to test the genotypes in T2DM patients (n = 1,105) and normal controls (n = 1,107). Serum adiponectin concentration was measured by ELISA kit. The variant genotypes rs17817276GG, rs3856806CT and rs3856806CT/TT of PPAR-γ were associat-ed with T2DM, P = 0.023,0.037 and 0.018, respectively. Furthermore, the prevalence of haplotype GT in PPAR-γ was less frequent in the case subjects (0.3%) than in the controls (1.9%) [P < 0.001,OR(95%CI)=0.13 (0.06-0.31)]. Patients with genotype TT of rs3856806 had a higher serum level of adiponectin than those with the genotype CC and CT (P = 0.031 and 0.038, respectively). There was no statistically significant difference between patients and controls in genotype distribution of rs6537944 and rs1045570 of the RXR-α gene. The present study suggests that the variant genotypes in the PPAR-γ gene could decrease the risk for the development of T2DM in the Chinese Han population.