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J Leukoc Biol. 2007 Aug;82(2):300-10. Epub 2007 Apr 24.

Kinetics of mobilization and differentiation of lymphohematopoietic cells during experimental murine schistosomiasis in galectin-3 -/- mice.

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Departamento de Histologia e Embriologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Galectin-3 (gal-3), a beta-galactoside-binding animal lectin, plays a role in cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interactions. Extracellular gal-3 modulates cell migration and adhesion in several physiological and pathological processes. Gal-3 is highly expressed in activated macrophages. Schistosoma mansoni eggs display a large amount of gal-3 ligands on their surface and elicit a well-characterized, macrophage-dependent, granulomatous, inflammatory reaction. Here, we have investigated the acute and chronic phases of S. mansoni infection in wild-type and gal-3(-/-) mice. In the absence of gal-3, chronic-phase granulomas were smaller in diameter, displaying thinner collagen fibers with a loose orientation. Schistosoma-infected gal-3(-/-) mice had remarkable changes in the monocyte/macrophage, eosinophil, and B lymphocyte subpopulations as compared with the infected wild-type mice. We observed a reduction of macrophage number, an increase in eosinophil absolute number, and a decrease in B lymphocyte subpopulation (B220(+/high) cells) in the periphery during the evolution of the disease in gal-3(-/-) mice. B lymphopenia was followed by an increase of plasma cell number in bone marrow, spleen, and mesenteric lymph nodes of the infected gal-3(-/-) mice. The plasma IgG and IgE levels also increased in these mice. Gal-3 plays a role in the organization, collagen distribution, and mobilization of inflammatory cells to chronic-phase granulomas, niches for extramedullary myelopoiesis, besides interfering with monocyte-to-macrophage and B cell-to-plasma cell differentiation.

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