Send to

Choose Destination
J Mol Neurosci. 2009 Sep;39(1-2):99-103. doi: 10.1007/s12031-009-9186-7. Epub 2009 Feb 28.

The role of Galectin-3/MAC-2 in the activation of the innate-immune function of phagocytosis in microglia in injury and disease.

Author information

Department of Medical Neurobiology, IMRIC, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School and the Eric Roland Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, P.O.B. 12272, Jerusalem 91120, Israel.


Microglia are a self-sustained population of immune/myeloid cells present throughout the central nervous system (CNS). Microglia are in a "resting" state in the normal adult CNS. They turn "active" in injury and disease (e.g., trauma, neurodegeneration, and infection). Activated microglia can be beneficial as well as detrimental/neurotoxic. The innate-immune function of phagocytosis of tissue debris, neurotoxic factor, and pathogens is a beneficial function of microglia. The current manuscript reviews the role of Galectin-3 (known also as MAC-2; Galectin-3/MAC-2) in the activation of the phagocytosis of degenerated myelin that is mediated by complement receptor-3 (known also as MAC-1; CD11b/CD18; alphaMbeta2 integrin) and SRA (scavenger receptor-AI/II). Observations suggest that Galectin-3/MAC-2 may act as a molecular switch that activates phagocytosis by up-regulating and prolonging KRas-GTP-dependent PI3K (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase) activity. A similar mechanism may regulate the phagocytosis of other tissue debris, neurotoxic factors and pathogens in neurodegenerative and infectious diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center