OBJECTIVE To investigate the effects of Th1/Th17 cell imbalance on the pathogenesis of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in mice. METHODS In a murine GVHD model of C57BL/6 (H-2(b)), a low dose of halofuginone (HF) was applied for treating the recipients in order to result in Th1/Th17 imbalance. Rechipient mice were divided into GVHD group (without HF intervention) and GVHD plus HF group (treated by HF). The recipients were monitored for survival rate, clinical scores of acute GVHD, contents of circulatory Th1 and Th17 cells, Th1/Th17 ratio and serum level of IFN-γ and IL-17A. Expression levels of IFN-γ and IL-17A in target organs were analyzed by using real-time PCR, and the target organs were delivered for histological examinations. RESULTS Recipients treated with HF showed that all the mortality, circulatory Th1/Th17 ratio and clinical score were higher than those in the mice without HF intervention (P < 0.05). Circulatory Th1/Th17 ratio positively correlates with clinical score (P < 0.001). HF administration reduces the expression level of intestinal IL-17A and increases intrahepatic and intestinal IFN-γ level (P < 0.05), HF treatment aggravates GVHD in liver and small intestine with augmented hepatic and intestinal inflammation. CONCLUSION Th1/Th17 imbalance contributes to the pathogenesis of acute GVHD.