The heterodimeric cytokine IL-23 plays a non-redundant function in the development of cell-mediated, organspecific autoimmune diseases such as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). To further characterize the mechanisms of action of IL-23 in autoimmune inflammation, we administered IL-23 systemically at different time points during both relapsing and chronic EAE. Surprisingly, we found suppression of disease in all treatment protocols. We observed a reduction in the number of activated macrophages and microglia in the CNS, while T cell infiltration was not significantly affected. Disease suppression correlated with reduced expansion of myelin-reactive T cells, loss of T-bet expression, loss of lymphoid structures, and increased production of IL-6 and IL-4. Here we describe an unexpected function of exogenous IL-23 in limiting the scope and extent of organ-specific autoimmunity.