Resistin is a protein secreted from adipose tissue that is thought to play a role in insulin sensitivity. We examined the effects of rosiglitazone and metformin on the plasma resistin levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who showed poor glycemic control with glimepiride (4 mg/d) were randomized to rosiglitazone (4 mg/d) and metformin (500 mg bid) treatment groups. All subjects continued glimepiride treatment as well. The plasma concentrations of resistin were measured at baseline and at 6 months of treatment for both groups. The anthropometric parameters, fasting plasma glucose, HbA1c, total cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, free fatty acids, and adiponectin concentrations were also measured. After 6 months of treatment, the reduction in plasma glucose levels was similar between the 2 groups. There were no significant changes in the lipid profiles of either group during the study period. The plasma resistin levels decreased in the rosiglitazone group (2.49 +/- 1.93 vs 1.95 +/- 1.59 ng/ml; P < .05) but increased in the metformin group (2.61 +/- 1.69 vs 5.13 +/- 2.81 ng/ml; P < .05). The plasma adiponectin concentrations were increased in the rosiglitazone group (2.91 +/- 1.46 vs 4.23 +/- 1.77 microg/ml; P < .05) but were unchanged in the metformin group. In summary, rosiglitazone treatment decreased the plasma resistin levels whereas metformin treatment increased them in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus showing poor glycemic control with sulfonylurea therapy. These results suggest that the observed changes in plasma resistin levels are not the consequences of improved insulin resistance, nor are they consequences of glycemic control. Considering the potential role of resistin in insulin resistance, decrease in resistin levels may contribute to improving insulin action with rosiglitazone treatment.