We hypothesized that α-lipoic acid (α-LA) might interact with the transcriptional control of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)β in skeletal muscle. Molecular mechanisms were investigated using differentiated C2C12 myotubes treated with α-LA and/or PPARβ agonist GW0742. In vivo studies with 3-mo-old C57Bl6 mice were realized: voluntary wheel running (VWR) training (7 wk), and a 6 wk diet containing (or not) α-LA (0.25% wt/wt). This last condition was combined with (or not) 1 bout of treadmill exercise (18 m/min for 1 h). Using a reporter assay, we demonstrate that α-LA is not an agonist of PPARβ but regulates PPARβ target gene expression through an active PPARβ pathway. GW0742-induced pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 mRNA is potentiated by α-LA. In C2C12, α-LA lowers the activation of the JNK signaling pathway and increases PPARβ mRNA and protein levels (2-fold) to the same extent as with the JNK inhibitor SP600125. Similarly to VWR training effect, PPARβ expression increases (2-fold) in vastus lateralis of animals fed an α-LA-enriched diet. However, α-LA treatment does not further stimulate the adaptive up-regulation of PPARβ observed in response to 1 bout of exercise. We have identified a novel mechanism of regulation of PPARβ expression/action in skeletal muscle with potential physiologic application through the action of α-LA, involving the JNK pathway.