© 2014 Elsevier B.V. The idiopathic inflammatory myopathies are a heterogeneous group of autoimmune muscle disorders with distinct clinical and pathological features and underlying immunopathogenic mechanisms. Traditionally, CD4+ Th1 cells or CD8+ cytotoxic effector T cells and type I/II interferons have been primarily implicated in the pathogenesis of the inflammatory myopathies. The presence of IL-17A producing cells in the inflamed muscle tissue of myositis patients and the results of in vitro studies suggest that IL-17A and the Th17 pathway may also have a key role in these diseases. The contribution of IL-17A to other chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases has been well established and clinical trials of IL-17A inhibitors are now at an advanced stage. However the precise role of IL-17A in the various forms of myositis and the potential for therapeutic targeting is currently unknown and warrants further investigation.