Experimental autoimmune myocarditis (EAM) represents a Th17 T cell-mediated mouse model of postinflammatory heart disease. In BALB/c wild-type mice, EAM is a self-limiting disease, peaking 21 days after alpha-myosin H chain peptide (MyHC-alpha)/CFA immunization and largely resolving thereafter. In IFN-gammaR(-/-) mice, however, EAM is exacerbated and shows a chronic progressive disease course. We found that this progressive disease course paralleled persistently elevated IL-17 release from T cells infiltrating the hearts of IFN-gammaR(-/-) mice 30 days after immunization. In fact, IL-17 promoted the recruitment of CD11b(+) monocytes, the major heart-infiltrating cells in EAM. In turn, CD11b(+) monocytes suppressed MyHC-alpha-specific Th17 T cell responses IFN-gamma-dependently in vitro. In vivo, injection of IFN-gammaR(+/+)CD11b(+), but not IFN-gammaR(-/-)CD11b(+), monocytes, suppressed MyHC-alpha-specific T cells, and abrogated the progressive disease course in IFN-gammaR(-/-) mice. Finally, coinjection of MyHC-alpha-specific, but not OVA-transgenic, IFN-gamma-releasing CD4(+) Th1 T cell lines, together with MyHC-alpha-specific Th17 T cells protected RAG2(-/-) mice from EAM. In conclusion, CD11b(+) monocytes play a dual role in EAM: as a major cellular substrate of IL-17-induced inflammation and as mediators of an IFN-gamma-dependent negative feedback loop confining disease progression.