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J Pathol. 2004 Dec;204(5):511-8.

Dimeric galectin-1 induces IL-10 production in T-lymphocytes: an important tool in the regulation of the immune response.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Groningen University Medical Center, Groningen, The Netherlands.


Galectin-1, a beta-galactoside binding protein that can occur as both a monomer and a homodimer, binds to leucocyte membrane antigens such as CD7, CD43, and CD45, and has immune-regulatory functions in several animal models of autoimmune disease. However, its mechanism of action is only partially understood. In this study, a marked increase in IL-10 mRNA and protein levels was demonstrated in non-activated and activated CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cells, following treatment with a high concentration (dimeric form), but not a low concentration (monomeric form), of recombinant galectin-1 protein. IL-10 is known to suppress TH1 type immune responses and upregulation of IL-10 may thus contribute to the immune-regulatory function of galectin-1. Galectin-1 was strongly expressed on the endothelial cells of human kidney allografts, suggesting a role in the regulation of immune responses in transplantation. Administration of high concentrations of galectin-1 may be a useful tool in the treatment of T-cell-mediated diseases.

Copyright (c) 2004 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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