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Dev Dyn. 1995 Jun;203(2):241-51.

Galectin-3 is expressed in the notochord, developing bones, and skin of the postimplantation mouse embryo.

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Unité INSERM 257, ICGM, Paris, France.


The galectins are a family of low molecular weight, calcium-independent mammalian carbohydrate binding proteins that exhibit specificity for beta-galactoside derivatives. We have examined the expression pattern of galectin-3 in the developing mouse embryo by in situ hybridisation and immunohistochemistry. In the embryo proper, galectin-3 message and protein are first detected in notochord, starting from 8.5 days post coitum (dpc), and persist until this structure disappears. Galectin-3 is later found in cartilage primordia and in developing skin from 13.5 dpc. This very restricted and dynamic pattern suggests that galectin-3 may participate in the establishment and/or maintenance of notochord as well as the formation of cartilage and differentiation of skin. Finally, we find that galectin-3, which is identical to the macrophage marker Mac-2, is also expressed in embryonic macrophages.

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