Switching microglial polarization from the pro-inflammatory M1 phenotype to the anti-inflammatory M2 phenotype represents a novel therapeutic strategy for diabetic neuropathic pain (DNP). This study aims to determine the role and mechanism of interleukin (IL)-35 in regulating microglial M1/M2 polarization in DNP. A rat model of DNP was induced by a single streptozocin injection and recombinant IL-35 (rIL-35) was then intrathecally administered to the rats for 14 days. The mechanical withdrawal threshold (MWT) and thermal withdrawal latency (TWL) were measured to assess the therapeutic effect of IL-35. Highly aggressive proliferating immortalized (HAPI), a rat microglia cell line, was treated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) for M1 polarization or IL-4 for M2 polarization. The M1 markers (CD68, iNOS, TNF-α, IL-6) and M2 markers (CD206, Arg-1, IL-10) were examined. rIL-35 administration in DNP model rats elevated MWT and TWL, induced microglial polarization toward the M2 phenotype, suppressed JNK signaling and activated JAK2/STAT6 signaling. In vitro assay confirmed that rIL-35 induced microglial M2 polarization in HAPI cells through inhibiting JNK signaling and activating JAK2/STAT6 signaling. Collectively, the mechanism underlying therapeutic effect of IL-35 on DNP may relate to its promotion of microglial M2 polarization by regulating JNK signaling and JAK2/STAT6 signaling.