Expression of brown adipose tissue (BAT) associated proteins like uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) in inguinal WAT (iWAT) has been suggested to alter iWAT metabolism. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of interleukin-6 (IL-6) in exercise training and cold exposure-induced iWAT UCP1 expression. The effect of daily intraperitoneal injections of IL-6 (3 ng/g) in C57BL/6 mice for 7 days on iWAT UCP1 expression was examined. In addition, the expression of UCP1 in iWAT was determined in response to 3 days of cold exposure (4°C) and 5 weeks of exercise training in wild type (WT) and whole body IL-6 knockout (KO) mice. Repeated injections of IL-6 in C57BL/6 mice increased UCP1 mRNA but not UCP1 protein content in iWAT. Cold exposure increased iWAT UCP1 mRNA content similarly in IL-6 KO and WT mice, while exercise training increased iWAT UCP1 mRNA in WT mice but not in IL-6 KO mice. Additionally, a cold exposure-induced increase in iWAT UCP1 protein content was blunted in IL-6 KO mice, while UCP1 protein content in iWAT was lower in both untrained and exercise trained IL-6 KO mice than in WT mice. In conclusion, repeated daily increases in plasma IL-6 can increase iWAT UCP1 mRNA content and IL-6 is required for an exercise training-induced increase in iWAT UCP1 mRNA content. In addition IL-6 is required for a full induction of UCP1 protein expression in response to cold exposure and influences the UCP1 protein content iWAT of both untrained and exercise trained animals. © 2014 Knudsen et al.