Tristetraprolin (TTP) is a well-characterized, zinc finger-containing, RNA-binding protein. TTP targets tumor necrosis factor α for degradation via the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR). Although AU-rich elements (AREs) in the 3'UTR of interleukin-6 (IL-6) mRNA dictate mRNA degradation, the role of TTP in the post-transcriptional regulation of IL-6 gene expression is unclear. Here we used TTP-deficient mice to test the hypothesis that IL-6 expression is influenced by TTP. Genetic and siRNA-mediated knockdown of TTP resulted in increased IL-6 production and overexpression of TTP had the reverse effect. IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor α production were elevated after injection of IL-1β in TTP-deficient mice. Further, embryonic fibroblasts from these mice (mouse embryonic fibroblasts) exhibited greater IL-6 mRNA expression and longer half-life than wild-type mouse embryonic fibroblasts. Overexpression of TTP reduced IL-6 3'UTR luciferase reporter activity in an ARE-dependent manner. Proximal and distal regions of the 3'UTR acted synergistically to produce the full repression of TTP. Mutation-based luciferase assays show that ARE2, ARE3, and ARE4 are required for TTP-mediated repression. The constitutively activated p38-MK2 pathway abrogated TTP-mediated repression of IL-6 3'UTR reporter activity. RNA immunoprecipitation assay indicated that the deficiency of p38α resulted in the increased affinity of TTP to IL-6 mRNA. Taken together, we propose that TTP downregulates IL-6 gene expression at the post-transcriptional level by targeting ARE elements in the 3'UTR region.