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Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2005 Oct-Dec;18(4):615-23.

Regulated expression of galectin-1 after in vitro productive infection with herpes simplex virus type 1: implications for T cell apoptosis.

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Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Apoptosis of cytotoxic T lymphocytes by herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1) has been reported to be a relevant mechanism of viral immune evasion. Galectin-1 (Gal-1), an endogenous lectin involved in T-cell apoptosis, has recently gained considerable attention as a novel mechanism of tumor-immune evasion. Here we investigated whether infection of cells with HSV-1 can modulate the expression of Gal-1. Results show that pro-apoptotic Gal-1, but not Gal-3, is remarkably up-regulated in cell cultures infected with HSV-1. In addition, this protein is secreted to the extracellular milieu, where it contributes to apoptosis of activated T cells in a carbohydrate-dependent manner. Since many viruses have evolved mechanisms to counteract the antiviral response raised by the infected host, our results suggest that HSV-1 may use galectin-1 as a weapon to kill activated T cells and evade specific immune responses.

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