Demyelination is one of the pathological hallmarks of multiple sclerosis (MS). To date, no therapy is available which directly potentiates endogenous remyelination. Interleukin-11 (IL-11), a member of the gp130 family of cytokines, is upregulated in MS lesions. Systemic IL-11 treatment was shown to ameliorate clinical symptoms in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of MS. IL-11 modulates immune cells and protects oligodendrocytes in vitro. In this study, the cuprizone-induced demyelination mouse model was used to elucidate effects of IL-11 on de- and remyelination, independent of the immune response. Prophylactic-lentiviral- (LV-) mediated overexpression of IL-11 in mouse brain significantly limited acute demyelination, which was accompanied with the preservation of CC1(+) mature oligodendrocytes (OLs) and a decrease in microglial activation (Mac-2(+)). We further demonstrated that IL-11 directly reduces myelin phagocytosis in vitro. When IL-11 expressing LV was therapeutically applied in animals with extensive demyelination, a significant enhancement of remyelination was observed as demonstrated by Luxol Fast Blue staining and electron microscopy imaging. Our results indicate that IL-11 promotes maturation of NG2(+) OPCs into myelinating CC1(+) OLs and may thus explain the enhanced remyelination. Overall, we demonstrate that IL-11 is of therapeutic interest for MS and other demyelinating diseases by limiting demyelination and promoting remyelination.