Resistin is a novel cysteine-rich protein that plays a role in the development of insulin resistance and atherosclerosis. HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) possess anti-inflammatory properties that are independent of their lipid-lowering action. The aims of this study were to investigate the effect of atorvastatin on expression of resistin in vitro and to determine the effect of 6 months of treatment with atorvastatin on serum levels of resistin in patients with type 2 diabetes. 3T3-L1 adipocytes and human monocytes/macrophages and preadipocytes were incubated with 1 and 10 µmol/l atorvastatin for 24 and 48 h, followed by measurement of resistin mRNA by the quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Serum resistin concentration in the patients with type 2 diabetes was measured at baseline and after 6 months of atorvastatin treatment (10 mg/day). qRT-PCR analysis revealed that atorvastatin decreased resistin mRNA expression in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Serum resistin concentration tended to decrease after 6 months of atorvastatin treatment, although this decrease did not reach statistical significance. In conclusion, the findings of our in vitro study contribute to the growing volume of evidence on the anti-inflammatory and anti-atherosclerotic effects of statins, and led us to suggest that statins may control inflammatory responses by inhibiting expression of resistin mRNA. It is necessary to confirm the findings of our in vitro study by an appropriately designed large-scale clinical study.