Objective: To investigate the effect of interleukin-23 ( IL-23) on myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury.Methods: Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned into sham operated control (SO) group, ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) group, (IL-23+I/R) group and (anti-IL-23+I/R) group. At 4 h after reperfusion, the serum concentration of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), creatine kinase (CK) and the tissue MDA concentration and SOD activity were measured. The infarcte size was measured by TTC staining. Apoptosis in heart sections were measured by TUNEL staining. The expression of HMGB1 and IL-17A were detected by Western Blotting and the expression of TNF-α and IL-6 were detected by Elisa. Results:After 4 h reperfusion, compared with the I/R group, IL-23 significantly increased the infarct size, the apoptosis of cardiomyocytes and the levels of LDH and CK (all P<0.05). Meanwhile, IL-23 significantly increased the expression of eIL-17A, TNF-α and IL-6 and enhanced both the increase of the MDA level and the decrease of the SOD level induced by I/R (all P<0.05). IL-23 had no effect on the expression of HMGB1 (P>0.05). All these effects were abolished by anti-IL-23 administration. Conclusion: The present study suggested that IL-23 may promote myocardial I/R injury by increasing the inflammatory responses and oxidative stress reaction.