Interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-23 play important roles in the development of experimental autoimmune disease models and numerous afflictions affecting humans. Preclinical data over the last 20 years combined with successful clinical trials has identified a clear relationship between IL-12, IL-23 and the generation of pathogenic T helper cells capable of orchestrating tissue inflammation. Observations made in the clinic have shown that IL-12p40, a common subunit shared by IL-12 and IL-23, is critical to pathologies associated with psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and tumor growth. These advancements have set in motion the development of a number of potential therapeutics aimed at manipulating IL-12/23 signaling pathways in both mice and humans. This review will discuss a brief history of the understanding and expansion of the IL-12 cytokine family, some difficulties associated with preclinical data interpretation and finally the medicinal interventions that have been developed to combat IL-12/23-driven autoimmune disorders.