The number of brown adipocytes residing within murine white fat depots (brite adipocytes) varies a lot by depot, strain and physiological condition. Several endocrine fibroblast growth factors are implicated in the regulation of brite adipocyte abundance. The family of fibroblast growth factors can be categorized by their site of action into endocrine, paracrine and intracellular peptides. We here screened paracrine fibroblast growth factors for their potential to drive brite adipogenesis in differentiating epididymal white adipocytes and identified fibroblast growth factor 8b to induce uncoupling protein 1 expression, but at the same time to interfere in adipogenesis. In an in vivo trial, fibroblast growth factor 8b released into the epididymal fat depot failed to robustly increase the number of brite adipocytes. The specific action of fibroblast growth factor 8b on the uncoupling protein 1 promoter in cultured epididymal adipocytes provides a model system to dissect specific gene regulatory networks.