Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are associated with the proteinaceous inclusions that characterise many neurodegenerative diseases. This suggests they may be associated with disease aetiology and/or represents an attempt to remove abnormal protein aggregates. In this study the adenoviral mediated over-expression of HSP70 interacting protein (HIP) alone was shown to significantly reduce inclusion formation in both an in vitro model of Spinal Bulbar Muscular Atrophy and a primary neuronal model of polyglutamine disease. Experiments to determine the mechanism of action showed that: denatured luciferase activity (a measure of protein refolding) was not increased in the presence of HIP alone but was increased when HIP was co-expressed with HSP70 or Heat Shock cognate protein 70 (HSC70); the expression of polyglutamine inclusions in cortical neurons mediated an increase in the levels of HSC70 but not HSP70. Our data suggest that HIP may prevent inclusion formation by facilitating the constitutive HSC70 refolding cycle and possibly by preventing aggregation. HIP expression is not increased following stress and its over-expression may therefore reduce toxic polyglutamine aggregation events and contribute to an effective therapeutic strategy.