Previous reports have shown that PPARβ/δ agonists ameliorate insulin resistance associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). To determine the role of PPARβ/δ in tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα)-mediated insulin resistance, we investigated expression levels of adiponectin and insulin receptor (IR) in response to treatment with the PPARβ/δ agonist GW501516 with or without TNFα, a proinflammatory cytokine, in differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes. GW501516 induced adipocyte differentiation and the expression of adiponectin in a dose-dependent manner in differentiated adipocytes. TNFα treatment reduced adiponectin expression at the end of differentiation. This effect was reversed by GW501516 co-treatment with TNFα. TNFα treatment decreased adipogenic marker genes such as PPARγ, aP2, resistin, and GLUT4, and GW501516 reversed the effects of TNFα. GW501516 treatment increased the expression of insulin receptor and inhibited TNFα-mediated repression of insulin receptor. Our results showed that GW501516 abrogated TNFα-induced insulin resistance. In summary, our study demonstrated that the PPARβ/δ agonist, GW501516 reversed TNFα-induced decreases in adipocyte differentiation and adiponectin expression, and improved insulin sensitivity by increasing the expression of insulin receptor. Therefore, PPARδ may be a promising therapeutic target for treatment of insulin resistance in patients with T2DM.