Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and its soluble receptor (sIL-6R) are major factors for maintenance and expansion of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Sensitivity of HSCs to IL-6 has been previously studied, in part by measuring the expression of IL-6R on the membrane (mIL-6R). Several studies have described the regulation of cell surface expression of IL-6R by several cytokines, but the role of glycoprotein 130 activation has not yet been investigated. In this study, CD133+ cells were purified from adult peripheral blood and were precultured in the absence or presence of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) for selection of quiescent HSCs. Cells were cultured with continuous or pulsed stimulations of an IL-6 –sIL-6R fusion protein (hyperinterleukin-6 [HIL-6]) to 1) detect mIL-6R by flow cytometry, 2) assess mIL-6R and sIL-6R RNAs by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, 3) measure sIL-6R in supernatants by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, 4) analyze cell-cycle status, and 5) perform long-term culture-initiating cell assays. The level of mIL-6R− cells was preserved by 5-FU incubation. HIL-6 increased steady-state mIL-6R RNA and expression rate on HSCs, independently of treatment with 5-FU. Enhanced production of sIL-6R was observed with short pulses of HIL-6 on CD133+ 5-FU-pretreated cells. This overproduction of sIL-6R was abrogated by tumor necrosis factor-α protease inhibitor-1, an inhibitor of a disintegrin and metalloprotease proteases, suggesting the shedding of mIL-6R. This phenomenon was mediated through the phosphatidylinositol-3′-kinase pathway and was involved in the maintenance of primitive HSCs. In conclusion, expression and production of IL-6R are tightly regulated and stage specific. We assume that sIL-6R produced by shedding should be involved in autocrine and paracrine loops in the HSC microenvironment.