Chemerin is present in various inflammatory sites and is closely involved in tissue inflammation. Recent studies have demonstrated that chemerin treatment can cause either anti-inflammatory or pro-inflammatory effects according to the disease model being investigated. Elevated circulating chemerin was recently found in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); however, the role of chemerin in intestinal inflammation remains unknown. In this study, we demonstrated that the administration of exogenous chemerin (aa17-156) aggravated the severity of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis, which was characterized by higher clinical scores, extensive mucosal damage and significantly increased local and systemic production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-6, TNF-α and interferon (IFN-γ). Interestingly, chemerin did not appear to influence the magnitudes of inflammatory infiltrates in the colons, but did result in significantly decreased colonic expression of M2 macrophage-associated genes, including Arginase 1 (Arg-1), Ym1, FIZZ1 and IL-10, following DSS exposure, suggesting an impaired M2 macrophage skewing in vivo. Furthermore, an in vitro experiment showed that the addition of chemerin directly suppressed M2 macrophage-associated gene expression and STAT6 phosphorylation in IL-4-stimulated macrophages. Significantly elevated chemerin levels were found in colons from DSS-exposed mice and from ulcerative colitis (UC) patients and appeared to positively correlate with disease severity. Moreover, the in vivo administration of neutralizing anti-chemerin antibody significantly improved intestinal inflammation following DSS exposure. Taken together, our findings reveal a pro-inflammatory role for chemerin in DSS-induced colitis and the ability of chemerin to suppress the anti-inflammatory M2 macrophage response. Our study also suggests that upregulated chemerin in inflamed colons may contribute to the pathogenesis of IBD.