Targeting cytokines of the interleukin-12 family in autoimmunity

Bok Yun Kang, Tae Sung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


In the past, autoimmunity was thought to be mediated by antibodies and immune complexes. It has now become clear that many autoimmune diseases, especially tissue specific, are T cell-mediated, or at least T cell-dependent. The pathogenesis of cell-mediated autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis, uveitis, diabetes, arthritis, and others, is now thought to be, in a large measure, driven by interferon-γ-producing, antigen-specific T cells, which are polarized toward the T helper type 1 (Th1) phenotype. Interleukin (IL)-12 and the more recently discovered IL-23 and IL-27 constitute a unique family of structurally-related, heterodimeric cytokines, which regulate cell-mediated immune responses and Th1-type inflammatory reactions. Thus, these cytokines may have a central role in the development and progression of cell-mediated autoimmune diseases. Therefore, pharmacologically targeting cytokines of the IL-12 family would be useful in the modulation of several autoimmune diseases. This review summarizes the recent findings concerning IL-12 family cytokine-mediated autoreactive inflammatory responses, and also describes some possible therapeutic interventions, including medicinal compounds at mitigating autoimmune inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1149-1156
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Apr


  • Autoimmunity
  • IL-12
  • IL-23
  • IL-27
  • Medicinal compounds
  • Signaling
  • T helper cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry


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