A strong relationship exists between increased inflammatory cytokines and muscle insulin resistance in obesity. This study focused on identifying a relationship between metabolic propensity and myostatin expression in muscle and spleen cells in response to high-fat diet intake. Using a comparative approach, we analyzed the effects of high-fat diet intake on myostatin and follistatin expression, spleen cell composition, and potential cytokine expression in high-fat diet induced obesity (HFDIO) resistant (SWR/J) and susceptible (C57BL/6) mice models. Results demonstrated overall increased myostatin expression in muscle following high-fat diet intake in HFDIO-susceptible mice, while myostatin expression levels decreased initially in muscle from high-fat diet fed resistant mice. In HFDIO-resistant mice, myostatin expression decreased in spleen, while myostatin increased in spleen tissue from HFDIO-susceptible mice. Proinflammatory cytokine (IL-17, IL-1β, and IFNγ) potential increased in splenocytes from HFDIO-susceptible mice. In comparison, C57BL/6 mice fed a high-fat diet exhibited higher frequencies of CD4+/CD44hi and CD8+/CD44hi cells in the spleen compared to control fed mice. Together, these results suggest that susceptibility to high-fat diet induced obesity could be influenced by local myostatin activity in a tissuespecific manner and that splenocytes exhibit differential cytokine production in a strain-dependent manner. This study sets the stage for future investigations into the interactions between growth, inflammation, and metabolism. © 2010 Lyons et al.