IL-11+CD4+ cells accumulate in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with early relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) and in active brain MS lesions. Mouse studies have confirmed a causal role of IL-11 in the exacerbation of relapsing-remitting experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (RREAE). Administration of IL-11 at the time of clinical onset of RREAE induced an acute exacerbation and increased clinical scores, which persisted during the entire course of the disease. IL-11 increased the numbers of spinal cord inflammatory foci, as well as the numbers of peripheral and CNS-infiltrating IL-17+CD4+ cells and IL-17A serum levels. Ag recall assays revealed that IL-11 induces IL-17A+, GM-CSF+, and IL-21+CD4+ myelin Ag-reactive cells. Passive transfer of these encephalitogenic CD4+ T cells induced severe RREAE with IL-17A+CCR6+ CD4+ and B cell accumulation within the CNS. Furthermore, passive transfer of nonmanipulated CNS-derived mononuclear cells from mice with RREAE after a single dose of IL-11 induced severe RREAE with increased accumulation of IL-17A+ and CCR6+ CD4+ cells within the CNS. These results suggest that IL-11 might serve as a biomarker of early autoimmune response and a selective therapeutic target for patients with early relapsing-remitting MS.