[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The Gram-positive Streptococcus pneumoniae is the leading cause of community-acquired pneumonia worldwide, resulting in high mortality. Our in vivo studies show that galectin-3(-/-) mice develop more severe pneumonia after infection with S. pneumoniae, as demonstrated by increased bacteremia and lung damage compared to wild-type mice and that galectin-3 reduces the severity of pneumococcal pneumonia in part by augmenting neutrophil function. Specifically, we show that 1) galectin-3 directly acts as a neutrophil-activating agent and potentiates the effect of fMLP, 2) exogenous galectin-3 augments neutrophil phagocytosis of bacteria and delays neutrophil apoptosis, 3) phagocytosis of apoptotic neutrophils by galectin-3(-/-) macrophages is less efficient compared to wild type, and 4) galectin-3 demonstrates bacteriostatic properties against S. pneumoniae in vitro. Furthermore, ad-back of recombinant galectin-3 in vivo protects galectin-3-deficient mice from developing severe pneumonia. Together, these results demonstrate that galectin-3 is a key molecule in the host defense against pneumococcal infection. Therapeutic strategies designed to augment galectin-3 activity may both enhance inflammatory cell function (by directly affecting neutrophil responsiveness and prolonging neutrophil longevity) and have direct bacteriostatic activity, improving clinical outcomes after severe pneumococcal infection.
Full-text available · Article · Mar 2008 · American Journal Of Pathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Alternative macrophage activation is implicated in diverse disease pathologies such as asthma, organ fibrosis, and granulomatous diseases, but the mechanisms underlying macrophage programming are not fully understood. Galectin-3 is a carbohydrate-binding lectin present on macrophages. We show that disruption of the galectin-3 gene in 129sv mice specifically restrains IL-4/IL-13-induced alternative macrophage activation in bone marrow-derived macrophages in vitro and in resident lung and recruited peritoneal macrophages in vivo without affecting IFN-gamma/LPS-induced classical activation or IL-10-induced deactivation. IL-4-mediated alternative macrophage activation is inhibited by siRNA-targeted deletion of galectin-3 or its membrane receptor CD98 and by inhibition of PI3K. Increased galectin-3 expression and secretion is a feature of alternative macrophage activation. IL-4 stimulates galectin-3 expression and release in parallel with other phenotypic markers of alternative macrophage activation. By contrast, classical macrophage activation with LPS inhibits galectin-3 expression and release. Galectin-3 binds to CD98, and exogenous galectin-3 or cross-linking CD98 with the mAb 4F2 stimulates PI3K activation and alternative activation. IL-4-induced alternative activation is blocked by bis-(3-deoxy-3-(3-methoxybenzamido)-beta-D-galactopyranosyl) sulfane, a specific inhibitor of extracellular galectin-3 carbohydrate binding. These results demonstrate that a galectin-3 feedback loop drives alternative macrophage activation. Pharmacological modulation of galectin-3 function represents a novel therapeutic strategy in pathologies associated with alternatively activated macrophages.
Full-text available · Article · Mar 2008 · The Journal of Immunology