Interleukin-17 as a key player in neuroimmunometabolism

Aaron Douglas, Brenneth Stevens, Lydia Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In mammals, interleukin (IL)-17 cytokines are produced by innate and adaptive lymphocytes. However, the IL-17 family has widespread expression throughout evolution, dating as far back as cnidaria, molluscs and worms, which predate lymphocytes. The evolutionary conservation of IL-17 suggests that it is involved in innate defence strategies, but also that this cytokine family has a fundamental role beyond typical host defence. Throughout evolution, IL-17 seems to have a major function in homeostatic maintenance at barrier sites. Most recently, a pivotal role has been identified for IL-17 in regulating cellular metabolism, neuroimmunology and tissue physiology, particularly in adipose tissue. Here we review the emerging role of IL-17 signalling in regulating metabolic processes, which may shine a light on the evolutionary role of IL-17 beyond typical immune responses. We propose that IL-17 helps to coordinate the cross-talk among the nervous, endocrine and immune systems for whole-body energy homeostasis as a key player in neuroimmunometabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1088-1100
Number of pages13
JournalNature Metabolism
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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