Chronic ethanol feeding to mice and rats decreases serum adiponectin concentration and adiponectin treatment attenuates chronic ethanol-induced liver injury. Although it is clear that lowered adiponectin has pathophysiological importance, the mechanisms by which chronic ethanol decreases adiponectin are not known. Here, we have investigated the impact of chronic ethanol feeding on adiponectin expression and secretion by adipose tissue. Rats were fed a 36% Lieber-DeCarli ethanol-containing liquid diet or pair-fed control diet for 4 wk. Chronic ethanol feeding decreased adiponectin mRNA but had no effect on adiponectin protein in subcutaneous adipose tissue. Chronic ethanol feeding also reduced adiponectin secretion by isolated subcutaneous and retroperitoneal adipocytes despite the maintenance of equivalent intracellular concentrations of adiponectin between subcutaneous adipocytes from ethanol- and pair-fed rats. Treatment with brefeldin A suppressed adiponectin secretion by subcutaneous adipocytes from pair-fed rats but had little effect after ethanol feeding. In subcutaneous adipocytes from pair-fed rats, adiponectin was enriched in endoplasmic reticulum (ER)/Golgi relative to plasma membrane; however, after chronic ethanol feeding, adiponectin was equally distributed between plasma membrane and ER/Golgi fractions. In conclusion, chronic ethanol feeding impaired adiponectin secretion by subcutaneous and retroperitoneal adipocytes; impaired secretion likely contributes to decreased adiponectin concentrations after chronic ethanol feeding.