Differential roles of galectin-1 and galectin-3 in regulating leukocyte viability and cytokine secretion

Sean R. Stowell, Yuning Qian, Sougata Karmakar, Natalia S. Koyama, Marcelo Dias-Baruffi, Hakon Leffler, Rodger P. McEver, Richard D. Cummings

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190 Citations (SciVal)


Galectin-1 (Gal-1) and galectin-3 (Gal-3) exhibit profound but unique immunomodulatory activities in animals but their molecular mechanisms are incompletely understood. Early studies suggested that Gal-1 inhibits leukocyte function by inducing apoptotic cell death and removal, but recent studies show that some galectins induce exposure of the common death signal phosphatidylserine (PS) independently of apoptosis. In tfhis study, we report that Gal-3, but not Gal-1, induces both PS exposure and apoptosis in primary activated human T cells, whereas both Gal-1 and Gal-3 induce PS exposure in neutrophils in the absence of cell death. Gal-1 and Gal-3 bind differently to the surfaces of T cells and only Gal-3 mobilizes intracellular Ca2+ in these cells, although Gal-1 and Gal-3 bind their respective T cell ligands with similar affinities. Although Gal-1 does not alter T cell viability, it induces IL-10 production and attenuates IFN-gamma production in activated T cells, suggesting a mechanism for Gal-1-mediated immunosuppression in vivo. These studies demonstrate that Gal-1 and Gal-3 induce differential responses in T cells and neutrophils, and identify the first factor, Gal-3, capable of inducing PS exposure with or without accompanying apoptosis in different leukocytes, thus providing a possible mechanism for galectin-mediated immunomodulation in vivo.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3091-3102
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Immunology in the medical area


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