The bone marrow compartment is modified in the absence of galectin-3

C. Brand, F. L. Oliveira, L. Ricon, M. L. Fermino, L. C. Boldrini, D. K. Hsu, Fu-Tong Liu, R. Chammas, R. Borojevic, M. Farina, M. C. El-Cheikh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Galectin-3 (gal-3) is a β-galactoside binding protein present in multivalent complexes with an extracellular matrix and with cell surface glycoconjugates. In this context, it can deliver a variety of intracellular signals to modulate cell activation, differentiation and survival. In the hematopoietic system, it was demonstrated that gal-3 is expressed in myeloid cells and surrounding stromal cells. Furthermore, exogenous and surface gal-3 drive the proliferation of myeloblasts in a granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF)-dependent manner. Here, we investigated whether gal-3 regulates the formation of myeloid bone marrow compartments by studying galectin-3 -/- mice (gal-3 -/-) in the C57BL/6 background. The bone marrow histology of gal-3 -/- mice was significantly modified and the myeloid compartments drastically disturbed, in comparison with wild-type (WT) animals. In the absence of gal-3, we found reduced cell density and diaphyseal disorders containing increased trabecular projections into the marrow cavity. Moreover, myeloid cells presented limited capacity to differentiate into mature myeloid cell populations in gal-3 -/- mice and the number of hematopoietic multipotent progenitors was increased relative to WT animals. In addition, bone marrow stromal cells of these mice had reduced levels of GM-CSF gene expression. Taken together, our data suggest that gal-3 interferes with hematopoiesis, controlling both precursors and stromal cells and favors terminal differentiation of myeloid progenitors rather than proliferation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-437
Number of pages11
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Galectin-3
  • Hematopoiesis
  • Myeloid differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Cell Biology
  • Histology


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