Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is active in murine adipocytes and has beneficial metabolic effects in animal models of type 2 diabetes mellitus. We assessed whether FGF21 influences lipolysis in human adipocytes and 3T3-L1 cells. FGF21 had no short-time effect (h) while a 3-day incubation with FGF21 attenuated hormone-stimulated lipolysis. FGF21 did not influence the mRNA expression of genes involved in regulating lipolysis, but significantly reduced the expression of the lipid droplet-associated phosphoprotein perilipin without affecting differentiation. Via reduced release of fatty acids into the circulation, the anti-lipolytic effect could be a mechanism through which FGF21 promotes insulin sensitivity in man.