Recent work has identified the important roles of M1 pro-inflammatory and M2 anti-inflammatory macrophages in the regulation of insulin sensitivity. Specifically, increased numbers of M2 macrophages and a decrease in M1 macrophages within the adipose tissue are associated with a state of enhanced insulin sensitivity. IL-10 is an anti-inflammatory cytokine and is a critical effector molecule of M2 macrophages. METHODS: In the present study, we examined the contribution of haematopoietic-cell-derived IL-10 to the development of obesity-induced inflammation and insulin resistance. We hypothesised that haematopoietic-cell-restricted deletion of IL-10 would exacerbate obesity-induced inflammation and insulin resistance. Lethally irradiated wild-type recipient mice receiving bone marrow from either wild-type or Il10-knockout mice were placed on either a chow or a high-fat diet for a period of 12 weeks and assessed for alterations in body composition, tissue inflammation and glucose and insulin tolerance. RESULTS: Contrary to our hypothesis, neither inflammation, as measured by the activation of pro-inflammatory stress kinases and gene expression of several pro-inflammatory cytokines in the adipose tissue and liver, nor diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance were exacerbated by the deletion of haematopoietic-cell-derived IL-10. Interestingly, however, Il10 mRNA expression and IL-10 protein production in liver and/or adipose tissue were markedly elevated in Il10-knockout bone-marrow-transplanted mice relative to wild-type bone marrow-transplanted mice. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: These data show that deletion of IL-10 from the haematopoietic system does not potentiate high-fat diet-induced inflammation or insulin resistance.