Galectin-3 regulates the innate immune response of human monocytes

Andrew W. Chung, Peter A. Sieling, Mirjam Schenk, Rosane M B Teles, Stephan R. Krutzik, Daniel K. Hsu, Fu-Tong Liu, Euzenir N. Sarno, Thomas H. Rea, Steffen Stenger, Robert L. Modlin, Delphine J. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Galectin-3 is a β-galactoside-binding lectin widely expressed on epithelial and hematopoietic cells, and its expression is frequently associated with a poor prognosis in cancer. Because it has not been well-studied in human infectious disease, we examined galectin-3 expression in mycobacterial infection by studying leprosy, an intracellular infection caused by Mycobacterium leprae. Galectin-3 was highly expressed on macrophages in lesions of patients with the clinically progressive lepromatous form of leprosy; in contrast, galectin-3 was almost undetectable in self-limited tuberculoid lesions. We investigated the potential function of galectin-3 in cell-mediated immunity using peripheral blood monocytes. Galectin-3 enhanced monocyte interleukin 10 production to a TLR2/1 ligand, whereas interleukin 12p40 secretion was unaffected. Furthermore, galectin-3 diminished monocyte to dendritic cell differentiation and T-cell antigen presentation. These data demonstrate an association of galectin-3 with unfavorable host response in leprosy and a potential mechanism for impaired host defense in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)947-956
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2013


  • bacterial infections
  • galectin-3
  • human
  • monocytes/macrophages
  • TLR2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Immunology and Allergy


Dive into the research topics of 'Galectin-3 regulates the innate immune response of human monocytes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this