Although it is well established that human adipose tissue (AT) shows circadian rhythmicity, published studies have been discussed as if tissues or systems showed only one or few circadian rhythms at a time. To provide an overall view of the internal temporal order of circadian rhythms in human AT including genes implicated in metabolic processes such as energy intake and expenditure, insulin resistance, adipocyte differentiation, dyslipidemia, and body fat distribution. Visceral and subcutaneous abdominal AT biopsies (n = 6) were obtained from morbid obese women (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2). To investigate rhythmic expression pattern, AT explants were cultured during 24-h and gene expression was analyzed at the following times: 08:00, 14:00, 20:00, 02:00 h using quantitative real-time PCR. Clock genes, glucocorticoid metabolism-related genes, leptin, adiponectin and their receptors were studied. Significant differences were found both in achrophases and relative-amplitude among genes (P < 0.05). Amplitude of most genes rhythms was high (>30%). When interpreting the phase map of gene expression in both depots, data indicated that circadian rhythmicity of the genes studied followed a predictable physiological pattern, particularly for subcutaneous AT. Interesting are the relationships between adiponectin, leptin, and glucocorticoid metabolism-related genes circadian profiles. Their metabolic significance is discussed. Visceral AT behaved in a different way than subcutaneous for most of the genes studied. For every gene, protein mRNA levels fluctuated during the day in synchrony with its receptors. We have provided an overall view of the internal temporal order of circadian rhythms in human adipose tissue. J. Cell. Physiol. 226: 2075–2080, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.