Role of IL-17 in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis

Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2013 Apr;44(2):183-93. doi: 10.1007/s12016-012-8307-1.


The role of T cell subpopulations in human disease is in a transition phase due to continuous discovery of new subsets of T cell, one of which is Th17, characterized by the production of signature cytokine IL-17. In the last couple of years, many articles are coming out on the role of Th17 and its signature cytokine IL-17 in different autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis (PsA), SLE and multiple sclerosis. Psoriasis and PsA are immune-mediated diseases, affecting the skin and joints, respectively. Initially, it was thought that psoriasis and PsA were Th1-mediated diseases; however, studies in knockout animal models (IL-17 knockout mice) as well as human experimental data indicate that Th17 and its signature cytokine IL-17 have a critical role in the pathogenesis of psoriatic disease. Th17 cells have been identified from the dermal extracts of psoriatic lesions. Subsequently, our research group has substantiated this observation that Th17 cells are enriched in the papillary dermis of psoriatic plaques and in freshly isolated effector T lymphocytes from the synovial fluid of PsA patients, and we have reported that the majority of these CD4 + IL-17+ T cells are of memory phenotype (CD4RO(+)CD45RA(-)CD11a(+)). Recent reports also suggest that the synovial tissue in psoriatic arthritis is enriched with IL-17R, and its most well recognized receptor IL-17RA is functionally active in psoriatic arthritis. In this review article, we have discussed the role of IL-17 in psoriatic disease and have narrated about the novel IL17/IL-17R antibodies currently in preparation for its therapeutic uses in autoimmune diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / immunology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Immunotherapy / trends
  • Interleukin-17 / genetics
  • Interleukin-17 / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Psoriasis / immunology*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-17 / immunology
  • Th17 Cells / immunology*


  • IL17RA protein, human
  • Interleukin-17
  • Receptors, Interleukin-17