The interleukin-17 cytokine family: critical players in host defence and inflammatory diseases

Immunology. 2011 Sep;134(1):8-16. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2567.2011.03465.x. Epub 2011 Jul 4.


The interleukin-17 (IL-17) cytokines, IL-17A to IL-17F, are emerging as critical players in host defence responses and inflammatory diseases. Substantial data support the role of these proteins in innate and adaptive immunity. Of these family members, IL-17A, IL-17F and IL-17E have been the best studied. Both IL-17A and IL-17F contribute to the host response to extracellular bacteria and fungi, and IL-17E has been shown to play a role in parasitic infections. In addition, numerous pre-clinical and clinical studies link these proteins to the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases, and a number of therapeutic programmes targeting these family members are in clinical development. This review will highlight the cellular sources, receptors/target cells, and role in inflammation of these and the less-characterized family members, IL-17B, IL-17C and IL-17D.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / physiology*
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-17 / physiology*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-17 / physiology


  • Interleukin-17
  • Receptors, Interleukin-17