IL-27 and IL-35 are heterodimeric cytokines, members of the IL-12 family and considered to have immunomodulatory properties. Their role during neuroinflammation had been investigated using mutant mice devoid of either one of their subunits or lacking components of their receptors, yielding conflicting results. We sought to understand the therapeutic potential of IL-27 and IL-35 delivered by gene therapy in neuroinflammation. We constructed lentiviral vectors expressing IL-27 and IL-35 from a single polypeptide chain, and we validated in vitro their biological activity. We injected IL-27 and IL-35-expressing lentiviral vectors into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of mice affected by experimental neuroinflammation (EAE), and performed clinical, neuropathological and immunological analyses. Both cytokines interfere with neuroinflammation, but only IL-27 significantly modulates disease development, both clinically and neuropathologically. IL-27 protects from autoimmune inflammation by inhibiting granulocyte macrophages colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) expression in CD4 + T cells and by inducing program death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression in both CNS-resident and CNS-infiltrating myeloid cells. We demonstrate here that IL-27 holds therapeutic potential during neuroinflammation and that IL-27 inhibits GM-CSF and induces pd-l1 mRNA in vivo. © 2017 The Author(s).