Endothelin (ET)-1 and suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS)-3 were respectively found to regulate energy metabolism and hormone signaling in fat cells. Although ET-1 can also regulate the expression of SOCS-3-stimulating hormones, it is still unknown whether ET-1 regulates SOCS-3 gene expression. This study investigated the pathways involved in ET-1's modulation of SOCS-3 gene expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. ET-1 upregulated SOCS-3 mRNA and protein expression in dose- and time-dependent manners. The concentration of ET-1 that increased SOCS-3 mRNA levels by 250-400% was ~100nM with 2-4h of treatment. Treatment with actinomycin D prevented ET-1-stimulated SOCS-3 mRNA expression, suggesting that the effect of ET-1 requires new mRNA synthesis. Pretreatment with the ET type A receptor (ETAR) antagonist, BQ-610, but not the ET type B receptor (ETBR) antagonist, BQ-788, prevented the stimulatory effect of ET-1 on SOCS-3 gene expression. The specific inhibitors of either MEK1 (U-0126 and PD-98059), JAK (AG-490), JNK (SP-600125), or PI3K (LY-294002 and wortmannin) reduced ET-1-increased levels of SOCS-3 mRNA and respectively inhibited ET-1-stimulated activities of MEK1, JAK, JNK, and PI3K. These results imply that the ETAR, ERK, JAK, JNK, and PI3K are functionally necessary for ET-1's stimulation of SOCS-3 gene expression. Moreover, ET-1 was observed to upregulate expressions of SOCS-1, -2, -3, -4, -5, and -6 mRNAs, but not SOCS-7 or cytokine-inducible SH2-containing protein-1 mRNAs. This suggests that ET-1 selectively affects particular types of SOCS family members. Changes in SOCS gene expressions induced by ET-1 may help explain the mechanism by which ET-1 modulates hormone signaling of adipocytes.