Much data suggests intersecting activities between the adipokine apelin (APLN) and the pathologic processes of obesity and osteoarthritis (OA), with APLN modulating cartilage, synovium, bone, and various immune cell activities. The synovium plays an important role in the pathogenesis of OA. We investigated the crosstalk between APLN, a major OA-related adipokine, and interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β), a major proinflammatory cytokine, in human OA synovial fibroblasts (OASFs). We showed that APLN stimulated the synthesis of IL-1β in a concentration- and time-dependent manner, which was mitigated by blockade of the PI3K and ERK pathway. We also showed that APLN inhibited the expression of miRNA-144-3p, which blocks IL-1β transcription; this suppression activity was reversed via blockade of the PI3K and ERK pathway. Moreover, pathologic changes in OA cartilage were rescued when APLN was silenced by shAPLN transfection both in vitro and in vivo. Our evidence is the first to show that APLN stimulates the expression of IL-1β by activating the PI3K and ERK pathway and suppressing downstream expression of miRNA-144-3p in OASFs. We also demonstrate that knockdown of APLN expression by shAPLN transfection ameliorated changes in OA cartilage severity. These results shed light on OA pathogenesis and suggest a novel treatment pathway.