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J Immunol. 2002 Nov 15;169(10):5912-8.

Selective eosinophil adhesion to fibroblast via IFN-gamma-induced galectin-9.

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Department of Radiology, Kagawa Medical University, 1750-1 Ikenobe, Miki-cho, Kita-gun, Kagawa 761-0793, Japan.


Among galectin family members, galectin-9 was first described as a potent eosinophil chemoattractant derived from Ag-stimulated T cells. In the present study a role of galectin-9 in the interaction between eosinophils and fibroblasts was investigated using a human lung fibroblast cell line, HFL-1. RT-PCR, real-time PCR, and Western blot analyses revealed that both galectin-9 mRNA and protein in HFL-1 cells were up-regulated by IFN-gamma stimulation. On the one hand, IL-4, known as a Th2 cytokine, did not affect the galectin-9 expression in HFL-1 cells. We further confirmed that IFN-gamma up-regulated the expression of galectin-9 in primary human dermal fibroblasts. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that IFN-gamma up-regulated surface galectin-9 expression on HFL-1 cells. Stimulation of HFL-1 cells with IFN-gamma up-regulated adhesion of eosinophils, but not neutrophils, to HFL-1 cells. This adherence of eosinophils to HFL-1 cells was inhibited by both lactose and anti-galectin-9 Ab. These findings demonstrate that IFN-gamma-induced galectin-9 expression in fibroblasts mediates eosinophil adhesion to the cells, suggesting a crucial role of galectin-9 in IFN-gamma-stimulated fibroblasts as a physiological modulator at the inflammatory sites.

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