IL-12-and IL-23 in health and disease

Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2014 Aug;25(4):415-21. doi: 10.1016/j.cytogfr.2014.07.017. Epub 2014 Aug 1.


Interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-23 play important roles in the development of experimental autoimmune disease models and numerous afflictions affecting humans. Preclinical data over the last 20 years combined with successful clinical trials has identified a clear relationship between IL-12, IL-23 and the generation of pathogenic T helper cells capable of orchestrating tissue inflammation. Observations made in the clinic have shown that IL-12p40, a common subunit shared by IL-12 and IL-23, is critical to pathologies associated with psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and tumor growth. These advancements have set in motion the development of a number of potential therapeutics aimed at manipulating IL-12/23 signaling pathways in both mice and humans. This review will discuss a brief history of the understanding and expansion of the IL-12 cytokine family, some difficulties associated with preclinical data interpretation and finally the medicinal interventions that have been developed to combat IL-12/23-driven autoimmune disorders.

Keywords: Autoimmunity; Cytokines; IL-12 family; Inflammation; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / immunology*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / pathology
  • Interleukin-12 / immunology
  • Interleukin-12 Subunit p40 / immunology*
  • Interleukin-17 / immunology
  • Interleukin-23 / immunology
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Psoriasis / immunology*
  • Psoriasis / pathology
  • Th1 Cells / immunology
  • Th17 Cells / immunology


  • Interleukin-12 Subunit p40
  • Interleukin-17
  • Interleukin-23
  • Interleukin-12