The IL-23/Th17 axis in the immunopathogenesis of psoriasis

J Invest Dermatol. 2009 Jun;129(6):1339-50. doi: 10.1038/jid.2009.59. Epub 2009 Mar 26.


Abnormal production of inflammatory mediators is believed to play an important role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. Emerging data, both in mice and in humans, put the spotlight on a new subset of T helper (Th) cells, in part characterized by their production of IL-17 and accordingly named Th17 cells. Here, we review the development, characterization, and function of human Th17 cells as well as the crucial role of IL-23 in the context of Th17-cell-dependent chronic inflammation in psoriasis. We further discuss recent clinical trials targeting the IL-23/Th17 axis in psoriasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immune System
  • Interleukin-23 / immunology*
  • Interleukin-23 / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Psoriasis / immunology*
  • Psoriasis / therapy
  • Receptors, Interleukin / metabolism*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / metabolism*


  • Cytokines
  • IL23R protein, human
  • Interleukin-23
  • Receptors, Interleukin