Systemic inflammation in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has been related to the development of comorbidities. The level of systemic inflammatory mediators is aggravated as a response to exercise in these patients. The aim of this study was to investigate whether unloading of the respiratory muscles attenuates the inflammatory response to exercise in COPD patients. In a cross-over design, eight muscle-wasted stable COPD patients performed 40 W constant work-rate cycle exercise with and without non-invasive ventilation support (NIV vs control). Patients exercised until symptom limitation for maximally 20 min. Blood samples were taken at rest and at isotime or immediately after exercise. Duration of control and NIV-supported exercise was similar, both 12.9 ± 2.8 min. Interleukin- 6 (IL-6) plasma levels increased significantly by 25 ± 9% in response to control exercise, but not in response to NIV-supported exercise. Leukocyte concentrations increased similarly after control and NIV-supported exercise by ∼15%. Plasma concentrations of C-reactive protein, carbonylated proteins, and production of reactive oxygen species by blood cells were not affected by both exercise modes. This study demonstrates that NIV abolishes the IL-6 response to exercise in muscle-wasted patients with COPD. These data suggest that the respiratory muscles contribute to exercise-induced IL-6 release in these patients.