The IL-17 Family of Cytokines in Health and Disease

Immunity. 2019 Apr 16;50(4):892-906. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2019.03.021.


The interleukin 17 (IL-17) family of cytokines contains 6 structurally related cytokines, IL-17A through IL-17F. IL-17A, the prototypical member of this family, just passed the 25th anniversary of its discovery. Although less is known about IL-17B-F, IL-17A (commonly known as IL-17) has received much attention for its pro-inflammatory role in autoimmune disease. Over the past decade, however, it has become clear that the functions of IL-17 are far more nuanced than simply turning on inflammation. Accumulating evidence indicates that IL-17 has important context- and tissue-dependent roles in maintaining health during response to injury, physiological stress, and infection. Here, we discuss the functions of the IL-17 family, with a focus on the balance between the pathogenic and protective roles of IL-17 in cancer and autoimmune disease, including results of therapeutic blockade and novel aspects of IL-17 signal transduction regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / therapy
  • Brain / immunology
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Infections / immunology
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Interleukin-17 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Interleukin-17 / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / immunology
  • Receptors, Interleukin-17 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Interleukin-17 / immunology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stress, Physiological / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology
  • Wounds and Injuries / immunology


  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-17
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Receptors, Interleukin-17