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Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2013 Oct;43(2):158-70. doi: 10.1016/j.semarthrit.2013.04.006.

Th17 cells and IL-17 a--focus on immunopathogenesis and immunotherapeutics.

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Rheumatology Research and Advanced Therapeutics, Department of Rheumatology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Geert Grooteplein 26, 6525 GA Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Electronic address:



Accumulating evidence suggests that IL-17 A has broad pathogenic roles in multiple autoimmune and immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, including psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The development of new therapies that inhibit IL-17 pathway signaling is of clinical significance.


This review aims to summarize the current preclinical evidence on the role of Th17 cells and IL-17 and related cytokines in immune-mediated disease pathophysiology, with a focus on psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as to summarize recent clinical trials in these indications with newly developed IL-17 pathway inhibitors.


A systematic literature search was conducted of PubMed using relevant keywords. Studies were assessed according to recent relevance to IL-17-mediated pathophysiology and clinical IL-17 inhibition. Experimental animal models of autoimmune disease and clinical studies that focused on IL-17 pathway inhibitors were included.


Preclinical studies suggest that IL-17A is an attractive therapeutic target. Several IL-17A inhibitors have advanced into clinical trials, including the anti-IL-17A monoclonal antibodies, secukinumab and ixekizumab, and the anti-17RA monoclonal antibody brodalumab. Each has shown variable and sometimes favorable results in proof-of-concept and phase II clinical trials and is currently undergoing further clinical evaluation in a range of immune-mediated diseases.


Targeting the IL-17 pathway shows promise as strategy to treat immune-mediated diseases ranging from skin to joints.


Brodalumab; Interleukin-17; Ixekizumab; Secukinumab; Th17 cells

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