This cross-sectional investigation sought to determine the relationship between selected metabolic, endocrine, and anthropometric factors and skeletal muscle UCP3 mRNA in healthy adult humans. Twenty-four healthy adults (13 male and 11 female) across a range of aerobic capacity, age, and body composition were studied. Muscle biopsies were obtained from the vastus lateralis, from which UCP3 mRNA was quantified by Northern blot, and fiber type was determined by use of the myosin ATPase staining procedure. In addition, resting energy expenditure and maximum rate of oxygen consumption were determined by indirect calorimetry, body composition was determined by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and fasting plasma leptin and insulin were determined by ELISA. UCP3 mRNA was correlated positively with the percent type I fibers (r = 0.842, P < 0.001), plasma leptin (r = 0.454, P = 0.026), and plasma insulin (r = 0.615, P < 0.001) and inversely to age (r = -0.411, P = 0.046). Stepwise multiple regression analysis determined that percent type I muscle fibers was the best predictor of vastus lateralis UCP3 mRNA, and no other variable entered the equation (model r 2 = 0.66). This study suggests that of the variables measured, UCP3 mRNA is primarily related to skeletal muscle fiber type in healthy adults. The factors that contribute to fiber-specific differences in UCP3 mRNA expression will need to be examined in future studies.