Archives of Pharmacal Research

, Volume 39, Issue 11, pp 1537–1547 | Cite as

Targeting IL-17 in autoimmunity and inflammation



The discovery of two distinct subsets of helper T cells, IFN-γ-producing Th1 cells and IL-4-producing Th2 cells, about three decades ago enabled us to understand the immunopathology of cell-mediated and allergic inflammatory diseases in humans. The observation that T cell-mediated experimental autoimmune diseases can be induced in mice lacking Th1 and Th2 cell responses prompted many immunologists to hypothesize that there might be additional subsets in helper T cell population which mediate autoimmunity in the absence of Th1 and Th2 cells. Consequently, multiple independent research groups identified IL-17-expressing RORγt+CD4+ T cell population as a distinct subset of helper T cells which promotes autoimmune tissue inflammation. Subsequent studies have revealed that innate immune cells, including γδ T cells, NKT cells and innate lymphoid cells, also produce type 17 cytokines and contribute to tissue inflammation. In this review, we discuss our current understanding on the biology of IL-17 and the therapeutic potential of targeting IL-17 for the treatment of immune disorders in humans.


IL-17 Th17 cell Autoimmunity Anti-IL-17 RORγt 



We appreciate Inbo Shim and Da-Sol Kuen for editing manuscript. This work is supported by Grants 2014R1A2A1A11054364 (YC) and 0430-20150023 (Basic Science Research Program) (YJP) from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Korean government (MEST).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no competing financial interest.


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Copyright information

© The Pharmaceutical Society of Korea 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Byung-Seok Kim
    • 1
    • 2
  • Young-Jun Park
    • 1
  • Yeonseok Chung
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Immune Regulation, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical SciencesSeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.BK21 Plus Program, College of PharmacySeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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