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Nat Immunol. 2009 Sep;10(9):981-91. doi: 10.1038/ni.1772. Epub 2009 Aug 9.

Tolerogenic signals delivered by dendritic cells to T cells through a galectin-1-driven immunoregulatory circuit involving interleukin 27 and interleukin 10.

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  • 1Laboratorio de Inmunopatología, Instituto de Biología y Medicina Experimental, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Despite their central function in orchestrating immunity, dendritic cells (DCs) can respond to inhibitory signals by becoming tolerogenic. Here we show that galectin-1, an endogenous glycan-binding protein, can endow DCs with tolerogenic potential. After exposure to galectin-1, DCs acquired an interleukin 27 (IL-27)-dependent regulatory function, promoted IL-10-mediated T cell tolerance and suppressed autoimmune neuroinflammation. Consistent with its regulatory function, galectin-1 had its highest expression on DCs exposed to tolerogenic stimuli and was most abundant from the peak through the resolution of autoimmune pathology. DCs lacking galectin-1 had greater immunogenic potential and an impaired ability to halt inflammatory disease. Our findings identify a tolerogenic circuit linking galectin-1 signaling, IL-27-producing DCs and IL-10-secreting T cells, which has broad therapeutic implications in immunopathology.

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