Interleukin 17 (IL-17) is a proinflammatory cytokine, produced only by activated lymphocytes, but with a broad cellular host range. The effects of IL-17 on fibroblasts were investigated by analysis of the induction of chemokine and matrix metalloprotease (MMP) mRNA levels by RT-PCR. IL-17 stimulated CC chemokine (monocyte chemotactic protein-1; MCP-1/JE) and CXC (KC, MIP-2) chemokine and TIMP-1 mRNA expression in fibroblastoid L929 cells. In normal mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEF) this induction profile by IL-17 was extended with the mRNAs encoding the chemokine granulocyte chemotactic protein-2 (GCP-2) and the proteases MMP-3, MMP-9 and MMP-13. The MMP-9 and GCP-2 induction by IL-17 in MEF, and the absence of induction in L929 cells, were corroborated by gelatin zymography and ELISA, respectively. The induction of MCP-1/CCL2 by IL-17 was confirmed in human diploid fibroblasts. We conclude that IL-17 regulates differentially chemokine and MMP expression by normal and transformed fibroblasts and is indirectly capable of attracting both monocytes and neutrophils to the inflammatory focus.