Although thiazolidinediones (TZD) effectively improve hyperglycemia and increase adiponectin, a proinsulin-sensitizing adipokine, they also increase adipogenesis via peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)γ induction, which may be undesirable. Recent safety concerns about some TZD have prompted the search for next generation agents that can enhance glycemic control and adiponectin independent of PPARγ or adipogenesis. Reminiscent of TZD action, a human adenovirus, adenovirus 36 (Ad36), up-regulates PPARγ, induces adipogenesis, and improves systemic glycemic control in vivo. We determined whether this effect of Ad36 requires PPARγ and/or adipogenesis. Glucose uptake and relevant cell signaling were determined in mock-infected or human adenoviruses Ad36 or Ad2-infected cell types under the following conditions: 1) undifferentiated human-adipose-tissue-derived stem cells (hASC), 2) hASC differentiated as adipocytes, 3) hASC in presence or absence of a PPARγ inhibitor, 4) NIH/3T3 that have impaired PPARγ expression, and 5) PPARγ-knockout mouse embryonic fibroblasts. Mouse embryonic fibroblasts with intact PPARγserved as a positive control. Additionally, to determine natural Ad36 infection, human sera were screened for Ad36 antibodies. In undifferentiated or differentiated hASC, or despite the inhibition, down-regulation, or the absence of PPARγ, Ad36 significantly enhanced glucose uptake and PPARγ, adiponectin, glucose transporter 4, and glucose transporter 1 protein abundance, compared with mock or Ad2-infected cells. This indicated that Ad36 up-regulates glucose uptake and adiponectin secretion independent of adipogenesis or without recruiting PPARγ. In humans, natural Ad36 infection predicted greater adiponectin levels, suggesting a human relevance of these effects. In conclusion, Ad36 provides a novel template to metabolically remodel human adipose tissue to enhance glycemic control without the concomitant increase in adiposity or PPARγ induction associated with TZD actions.