Interleukin-6 (IL-6) has been shown to promote post-stroke angiogenesis and long-term functional recovery; however, whether IL-6 could promote post-stroke neurogenesis remains unclear. This study aims to investigate the effects of IL-6 on neurogenesis after ischemic stroke. We also investigated whether pair housing (PH) could improve the experimental stroke outcome through IL-6. Transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) was induced in mice treated with recombinant IL-6 (rIL-6) or anti-IL-6 neutralizing antibodies (anti-IL-6 mAbs). Another set of mice were pair-housed (PH; male and ovariectomized female) for 2weeks, subjected to tMCAO and then assigned to a housing condition (isolated or PH). Pair-housed mice were treated with anti-IL-6 mAbs. Behavioral assessments were made 3days before tMCAO and after 28 days of reperfusion. Neural progenitor cells (NPCs) isolated from ipsilateral subventricular zone (SVZ) at 14 days post-ischemia were treated with rIL-6 plus soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6R). The effects of IL-6 on the proliferation and differentiation of NPCs were examined in vivo and in vitro. The role and mechanism of IL-6 in PH-mediated enhancement of NPC proliferation and functional recovery were investigated in vivo. We found that anti-IL-6 mAbs significantly reduced the proliferation and neuronal differentiation of NPCs in the ipsilateral SVZ, as well as functional recovery; whereas rIL-6 conferred the opposite effects. PH significantly promoted NPC proliferation and functional recovery compared with socially isolated cohorts; blockade of IL-6 with anti-IL-6 mAbs prevented this promoting effect. In conclusion, our results suggest that IL-6 is an important mediator of social interaction on neurogenesis and long-term functional recovery after ischemic stroke.