Interleukin-23: as a drug target for autoimmune inflammatory diseases

Immunology. 2012 Feb;135(2):112-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2567.2011.03522.x.


Interleukin-23 (IL-23) is a member of the IL-12 family of cytokines with pro-inflammatory properties. Its ability to potently enhance the expansion of T helper type 17 (Th17) cells indicates the responsibility for many of the inflammatory autoimmune responses. Emerging data demonstrate that IL-23 is a key participant in central regulation of the cellular mechanisms involved in inflammation. Both IL-23 and IL-17 form a new axis through Th17 cells, which has evolved in response to human diseases associated with immunoactivation and immunopathogeny, including bacterial or viral infections and chronic inflammation. Targeting of IL-23 or the IL-23 receptor or IL-23 axis is a potential therapeutic approach for autoimmune diseases including psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. The current review focuses on the immunobiology of IL-23 and summarizes the most recent findings on the role of IL-23 in the pre-clinical and ongoing clinical studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Interleukin-23 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Interleukin-23 / chemistry
  • Interleukin-23 / immunology*
  • Interleukin-23 / metabolism


  • Interleukin-23