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ScientificWorldJournal. 2012;2012:959824. doi: 10.1100/2012/959824. Epub 2012 Apr 19.

Deficiency in galectin-3 promotes hepatic injury in CDAA diet-induced nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

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Department of Diagnostic Pathology, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Science, University of Toyama, 2630 Sugitani, Toyama 930-0194, Japan.


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is increasingly recognized as a condition in which excess fat accumulates in hepatocytes. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a severe form of NAFLD in which inflammation and fibrosis in the liver are noted, may eventually progress to end-stage liver disease. Galectin-3, a β-galactoside-binding animal lectin, is a multifunctional protein. This protein is involved in inflammatory responses and carcinogenesis. We investigated whether galectin-3 is involved in the development of NASH by comparing galectin-3 knockout (gal3(-/-)) mice and wild-type (gal3(+/+)) mice with choline-deficient L-amino-acid-defined (CDAA) diet-induced NAFLD/NASH. Hepatic injury was significantly more severe in the gal3(-/-) male mice, as compared to the gal3(+/+) mice. Data generated by microarray analysis of gene expression suggested that galectin-3 deficiency causes alterations in the expression of various genes associated with carcinogenesis and lipid metabolism. Through canonical pathway analysis, involvement of PDGF and IL-6 signaling pathways was suggested in galectin-3 deficiency. Significant increase of CD14, Fos, and Jun, those that were related to lipopolysaccharide-mediated signaling, was candidate to promote hepatocellular damages in galectin-3 deficiency. In conclusion, galectin-3 deficiency in CDAA diet promotes NAFLD features. It may be caused by alterations in the expression profiles of various hepatic genes including lipopolysaccharide-mediated inflammation.

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