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  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

Galectin-3 and galectin-3 binding protein in rheumatoid arthritis

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Arthritis Res Ther20035 (Suppl 3) :137

  • Published:


  • Public Health
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Cell Adhesion

Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is one of the soluble lectins that has key functions in inflammation, chemotaxis, cell adhesion and apoptosis. We examined the role of Gal-3 and Gal-3 binding protein (Gal-3BP) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Localization of Gal-3 and Gal-3BP in rheumatoid synovium was examined by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridisation. Gal-3 and Gal-3BP concentrations in plasma and synovial fluid were measured by ELISA. Gal-3 protein and mRNA stained throughout the synovial membrane, and Gal-3BP expressed at the site of erosion in RA. Lower and scattered expression of both Gal-3 and Gal-3BP were detected in osteoarthritis synovium and normal synovium. ELISA revealed a marked increase of Gal-3 and Gal-3BP in synovial fluid of patients with RA compared with osteoarthritis patients and normal controls. Furthermore, the level of Gal-3 in serum correlated with the level of C-reactive protein in RA. In vitro, Gal-3 can induce the production of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, MMP-3, and MMP-9 in synovial fibroblasts in a dose-dependent manner. Our data indicate that Gal-3 and Gal-3BP represent novel markers of disease activity in RA. Moreover, Gal-3 might contribute to the destruction of bone/cartilage in RA by the induction of MMPs.

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Molecular Medicine, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan
Center of Experimental Rheumatology, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland
Department of Dermatology, University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, USA


© BioMed Central Ltd 2003