Mesenchymal stem cells have the potential to undergo commitment and differentiation into a variety of cell types, including osteoblasts, chondrocytes, myocytes and adipocytes. Growth differentiation factor 6 (Gdf6) is a member of the transforming growth factor β superfamily. We have examined the potential role of Gdf6 in adipogenesis of mesenchymal stem cells, and found that over-expression of Gdf6 induced commitment of pluripotent mesenchymal C3H10T1/2 cells to the adipocyte lineage. The type I receptor Bmpr1a and the type II receptors Bmpr2 and Acvr2a mediate the Gdf6 signaling pathway. RNAi silencing of Smad4 and p38 MAPK suggested that both Smad and p38 MAPK pathways are involved in this process. The expression of Runx1t1 was down-regulated in committed pre-adipocytes, and forced expression of Runx1t1 blocked the adipocytic commitment. The results demonstrate a role for Gdf6 in adipocytic commitment and differentiation.