The progression of osteoarthritis (OA) is mediated by adipokines, one of which is nesfatin-1, which is responsible for the production of inflammatory cytokines. However, how this molecule may affect the synthesis of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β) in OA is unclear. Our analyses of records from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) dataset and clinical specimens of synovial tissue revealed higher levels of nesfatin-1 and IL-1β in OA samples compared with normal healthy tissue. We found that nesfatin-1 facilitates IL-1β synthesis in human OA synovial fibroblasts (OASFs) and suppresses the generation of micro-RNA (miR)-204-5p, as the miR-204-5p levels in OA patients were lower than those in healthy controls. Nesfatin-1-induced stimulation of IL-1β in human OASFs occurred via the suppression of miR-204-5p synthesis by the PI3K, Akt, AP-1 and NF-κB pathways. We suggest that nesfatin-1 is worth targeting in OA treatment.