Several studies have demonstrated an association in humans between plasma levels or production capacity of the antiinflammatory cytokine IL-10 and insulin sensitivity. The aim of our study was to investigate the protective role of endogenous IL-10 availability in the development of diet-induced insulin resistance. We compared parameters of glucose and lipid metabolism between IL-10(-/-) mice and wild-type (wt) mice fed a high-fat diet for 6 wk. This diet has previously been shown to induce steatosis and insulin resistance. After 6 wk on the high-fat diet, no differences in body weight, basal metabolism (measured by indirect calorimetry), or plasma levels of glucose, triglycerides, or cholesterol were observed between IL-10(-/-) and wt mice. Nonetheless, in IL-10(-/-) mice, plasma free fatty acid levels were 75% increased compared with wt mice after overnight fasting (P < 0.05). In addition, hepatic triglyceride content was 54% increased in IL-10(-/-) mice (P < 0.05). During a hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp, no differences were observed in whole-body or hepatic insulin sensitivity between both groups. We conclude that basal IL-10 production protects against hepatic steatosis but does not improve hepatic or whole-body insulin sensitivity, during high-fat feeding.