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Am J Pathol. 2006 May;168(5):1666-75.

Galectin-3 expression correlates with apoptosis of tumor-associated lymphocytes in human melanoma biopsies.

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  • 1Fundación Instituto Leloir, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Abstract

The immune system recognizes diverse melanoma antigens. However, tumors can evade the immune response, therefore growing and progressing. It has been reported that galectin-3 and galectin-1 can induce apoptosis of activated lymphocytes. However, there is strong evidence indicating that the regulation of galectins function in the human tumor microenvironment is a complex process that is influenced by diverse biological circumstances. Here, we have investigated 33 biopsies (eight primary and 25 metastases) from 24 melanoma patients (15-72 years old) and describe the correlation between the expression of galectin-3 or galectin-1 and the level of apoptosis of tumor-associated lymphocytes using immunohistochemistry and an in situ nick translation assay. The range of galectin-3-positive tumor cells varied between 0% and 93% and that of galectin-1-positive tumor cells varied between 5% and 97%. In addition, 23 +/- 27% of tumor-associated lymphocytes were apoptotic. Although our results show a correlation between galectin-3 expression and apoptosis of tumor-associated lymphocytes, we could not find such correlation with galectin-1. Considering the complex process of cancer immunoediting, various interacting factors must be considered.

PMID:
16651632
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1606586
Free PMC Article

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