Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR gamma) plays an important role in the control of energy balance and lipid and glucose homeostasis. Different transcript variants were investigated not only in human but also in other vertebrates. To look into the evolutionary changes of these variants, we analyzed the genomic sequences of PPAR gamma genes from several vertebrate species, as well as their mRNA and EST data. Several potential alternative splicing exons at the 5'-end of the PPAR gamma gene were identified. The 5'-end of the PPAR gamma gene is discovered to be evolutionarily active and recruits new exons via different strategies. Moreover, it is shown that the only coding alternative exon (exon B) processes much higher Ka/Ks compared with its constitutive counterparts. In addition, its Ka/Ks is greater than 1 in the rat, mouse, and rabbit, indicating adaptive evolution and possible energy storage related gain-of-function for the exon.