Lack of galectin-3 disturbs mesenteric lymph node homeostasis and B cell niches in the course of schistosoma mansoni infection

Felipe L. Oliveira, Camila Brand, Adelzon A. Paula, Kátia D. Arcanjo, Daniel K. Hsu, Fu-Tong Liu, Christina M. Takiya, Radovan Borojevic, Roger Chammas, Márcia C. El-Cheikh

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20 Scopus citations


Galectin-3 is a β-galactoside-binding protein that has been shown to regulate pathophysiological processes, including cellular activation, differentiation and apoptosis. Recently, we showed that galectin-3 acts as a potent inhibitor of B cell differentiation into plasma cells. Here, we have investigated whether galectin-3 interferes with the lymphoid organization of B cell compartments in mesenteric lymph nodes (MLNs) during chronic schistosomiasis, using WT and galectin-3-/- mice. Schistosoma mansoni synthesizes GalNAcβ1-4(Fucα1-3)GlcNAc(Lac-DiNAc) structures (N-acetylgalactosamine β1-4 N-acetylglucosamine), which are known to interact with galectin-3 and elicit an intense humoral response. Antigens derived from the eggs and adult worms are continuously drained to MLNs and induce a polyclonal B cell activation. In the present work, we observed that chronically-infected galectin-3-/- mice exhibited a significant reduced amount of macrophages and B lymphocytes followed by drastic histological changes in B lymphocyte and plasma cell niches in the MLNs. The lack of galectin-3 favored an increase in the lymphoid follicle number, but made follicular cells more susceptible to apoptotic stimuli. There were an excessive quantity of apoptotic bodies, higher number of annexin V+/PI- cells, and reduced clearance of follicular apoptotic cells in the course of schistosomiasis. Here, we observed that galectin-3 was expressed in non-lymphoid follicular cells and its absence was associated with severe damage to tissue architecture. Thus, we convey new information on the role of galectin-3 in regulation of histological events associated with B lymphocyte and plasma cell niches, apoptosis, phagocytosis and cell cycle properties in the MLNs of mice challenged with S.mansoni.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere19216
JournalPLoS One
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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