Human galectin-3 is a novel chemoattractant for monocytes and macrophages

H. Sano, D. K. Hsu, L. Yu, J. R. Apgar, I. Kuwabara, T. Yamanaka, M. Hirashima, Fu-Tong Liu

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367 Scopus citations


Galectin-3 is a β-galactoside-binding protein implicated in diverse biological processes. We found that galectin-3 induced human monocyte migration in vitro in a dose-dependent manner, and it was chemotactic at high concentrations (1.0 μM) but chemokinetic at low concentrations (10-100 nM). Galectin-3-induced monocyte migration was inhibited by its specific mAb and was blocked by lactose and a C-terminal domain fragment of the protein, indicating that both the N-terminal and C-terminal domains of galectin-3 are involved in this activity. Pertussis toxin (PTX) almost completely blocked monocyte migration induced by high concentrations of galectin-3. Galectin-3 caused a Ca2+ influx in monocytes at high, but not low, concentrations, and both lactose and PTX inhibited this response. There was no cross- desensitization between galectin-3 and any of the monocyte-reactive chemokines examined, including monocyte chemotactic protein-1, macrophage inflammatory protein-1α, and stromal cell-derived factor-1α. Cultured human macrophages and alveolar macrophages also migrated toward galectin-3, but not monocyte chemotactic protein-1. Finally, galectin-3 was found to cause monocyte accumulation in vivo in mouse air pouches. These results indicate that galectin-3 is a novel chemoattractant for monocytes and macrophages and suggest that the effect is mediated at least in part through a PTX-sensitive (G protein-coupled) pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2156-2164
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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