During peripheral inflammation, both spinal TNF-α and IL-6 are released within the spinal cord and support the generation of inflammation-evoked spinal hyperexcitability. However, whether spinal TNF-α and IL-6 act independently in parallel or in a functionally dependent manner has not been investigated. In extracellular recordings from mechanonociceptive deep dorsal horn neurons of normal rats in vivo, we found that spinal application of TNF-α increased spinal neuronal responses to mechanical stimulation of knee and ankle joints. This effect was significantly attenuated by either sgp130, which blocks IL-6 trans-signaling mediated by IL-6 and its soluble receptor IL-6R (sIL-6R); by an antibody to the IL-6 receptor; or by minocycline, which inhibits the microglia. IL-6 was localized in neurons of the spinal cord and, upon peripheral noxious stimulation in the presence of spinal TNF-α, IL-6 was released spinally. Furthermore, TNF-α recruited microglial cells to provide sIL-6R, which can form complexes with IL-6. Spinal application of IL-6 plus sIL-6R, but not of IL-6 alone, enhanced spinal hyperexcitability similar to TNF-α and the inhibition of TNF-α-induced hyperexcitability by minocycline was overcome by coadministration of sIL-6R, showing that sIL-6R is required. Neither minocycline nor the TNF-α-neutralizing compound etanercept inhibited the induction of hyperexcitability by IL-6 plus sIL-6R. Together, these data show that the induction of hyperexcitability of nociceptive deep dorsal horn neurons by TNF-α largely depends on the formation of IL-6/sIL-6R complexes that are downstream of TNF-α and requires the interactions of neurons and microglia orchestrated by TNF-α. Both spinal TNF-α and IL-6 induce a state of spinal hyperexcitability. We present the novel finding that the full effect of TNF-α on the development of spinal hyperexcitability depends on IL-6 trans-signaling acting downstream of TNF-α. IL-6 trans-signaling requires the formation of complexes of IL-6 and soluble IL-6 receptor. Spinal TNF-α furthers the release of IL-6 from neurons in the spinal cord during peripheral noxious stimulation and recruits microglial cells to provide soluble IL-6 receptor, which can form complexes with IL-6. Therefore, a specific interaction between neurons and microglia is required for the full development of TNF-α-induced hyperexcitability of nociceptive deep horsal horn neurons.