Interleukin-17A (IL-17A) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine with well-characterized biological effects on stromal cell activation, angiogenesis, and osteoclastogenesis. The presence of this cytokine in the inflamed joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), together with compelling data from in vitro and experimental arthritis models demonstrating its pro-inflammatory effects, made this cytokine a strong candidate for therapeutic targeting. Clinical trials, however, have shown relatively modest success in RA as compared with other indications. Guided by recent insights in IL-17 biology, this review aims to explore possible reasons for the limited clinical efficacy of IL-17A blockade in RA, and what we can learn from these results going forward.

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