Full name: Interleukin-23

Aliases:1 IL-23A, P19, SGRF, and IL23P19

Size:1,2 ~59 kDa; heterodimeric cytokine composed of IL-12B (IL-12 p40) and IL-23A (IL-23 p19)

Family:3 IL-12 family (IL-12, IL-23, IL-27, and IL-35)

Receptors:2 IL-23R

Major cellular sources:2 Phagocytic cells, macrophages, and activated DCs from peripheral tissues, including the skin, intestinal mucosa, and lungs

Major cellular targets:2 T cells, Th17 cells, NK cells, NKT cells, eosinophils, monocytes, macrophages, DCs, and epithelial cells

Disease states associated with:2 Psoriasis and organ-specific autoimmune diseases

Major physiologic functions:

  • Along with stimulation of memory T cells, the key functions of IL-23 include the stimulation of pro-inflammatory

    IL-17 production, enhancement of T-cell proliferation, and activation of NK cells.2

  • IL-23 is responsible for the regulation of antibody production.2

  • IL-23 prolongs the expression of type 17 signature cytokines such as IL-17, IL-22, and GM-CSF that induce tissue pathology.3

  • IL-23 mediates chronic inflammation by promoting the survival and maintenance of Th17 cells.3

  • IL-23 has an important role in immunopathogenic mechanisms of organ-specific autoimmune diseases.3

  • IL-23 contributes to the development of Th17 cells, and a population of ILCs responds to IL-23 and might have a role in inflammatory bowel disease pathogenesis.2

DC: dendritic cell; GM-CSF: granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor; IL: interleukin; IL-23R: IL-23 receptor; ILC: innate lymphoid cell; NK: natural killer; NKT: natural killer T; Th17: type 17 T helper.


  • 1.

    NCBI. Gene. IL23A interleukin 23 subunit alpha [Homo sapiens (human)]. Accessed March 11, 2021.

  • 2.

    Akdis M, Aab A, Altunbulakli C, et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2016;138:984-1010.

  • 3.

    Sun L, He C, Nair L, et al. Cytokine. 2015;75:249-255.