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International Journal of Inflammation
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 819467, 10 pages
Review Article

Th17 Response and Inflammatory Autoimmune Diseases

Department of Immunity and Inflammation, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 777 Old Saw Mill River Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591, USA

Received 12 August 2011; Accepted 27 October 2011

Academic Editor: Petros Efthimiou

Copyright © 2012 Janelle C. Waite and Dimitris Skokos. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The proinflammatory activity of T helper 17 (Th17) cells can be beneficial to the host during infection. However, uncontrolled or inappropriate Th17 activation has been linked to several autoimmune and autoinflammatory pathologies. Indeed, preclinical and clinical data show that Th17 cells are associated with several autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, and lupus. Furthermore, targeting the interleukin-17 (IL-17) pathway has attenuated disease severity in preclinical models of autoimmune diseases. Interestingly, a recent report brings to light a potential role for Th17 cells in the autoinflammatory disorder adult-onset Still's disease (AOSD). Whether Th17 cells are the cause or are directly involved in AOSD remains to be shown. In this paper, we discuss the biology of Th17 cells, their role in autoimmune disease development, and in AOSD in particular, as well as the growing interest of the pharmaceutical industry in their use as therapeutic targets.