PPARG, a ligand-activated transcription factor plays a critical role in the regulation of blood pressure and vascular function. We hypothesized that smooth muscle cell (SMC) PPARG protects against hypertension (HT) and resistance vessel dysfunction. Transgenic mice expressing dominant negative PPARG (S-P467L) in SMC or non-transgenic controls (NT) were implanted with DOCA pellet and allowed ad libitum access to 0.15 M NaCl for 21 days in addition to regular chow and water. Blood pressure was monitored by telemetry and mesenteric arterial (MA) function was assessed by pressurized myograph. At baseline, 24-hour mean arterial pressure (MAP) was similar between NT and S-P467L mice, while the transgenic mice were tachycardic. DOCA-salt increased MAP to a much greater degree in S-P467L mice (Δ MAP; S-P467L: +34.2±6.0, NT: +13.3±5.7, p<0.05 vs NT). Heart rate was similarly decreased in both groups after DOCA-salt. Vasoconstriction to KCl, phenylephrine and endothelin-1 did not differ in MA from DOCA-salt treated NT and S-P467L, while the response to vasopressin was significantly reduced in S-P467L after DOCA-salt (% constriction at 10-8 M, S-P467L: 31.6±5.6, NT: 46.7±3.8, p<0.05 vs NT). Urinary copeptin, a surrogate marker for arginine vasopressin was similar in both groups regardless of treatment. Vasorelaxation to acetylcholine was slightly impaired in S-P467L MA compared to NT at baseline whereas this effect was further exaggerated after DOCA-salt (% relaxation at 10-5 M, S-P467L: 56.1±8.3, NT: 79.4±5.6, p<0.05 vs NT). Vascular morphology at luminal pressure of 75 mmHg showed a significant increase in wall thickness (S-P467L: 18.7±0.8, NT: 16.0±0.4, p<0.05 vs NT) and % media/lumen (S-P467L: 8.4±0.3, NT: 7.1±0.2, p<0.05 vs NT) in S-P467L MA after DOCA-salt. Expression of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP)-4 and regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS)-5 transcript were 2- and 3.5-fold increased, respectively, in MA of NT with DOCA-salt compared to NT baseline. However, this induction was markedly blunted in S-P467L MA. We conclude that interference with PPARG function in SMC leads to altered gene expression crucial for normal vascular homeostasis, thereby sensitizing the mice to the effects of DOCA-salt induced HT and vascular dysfunction.