Molecular and cellular biochemistry

The effects of galectin-1 on the gene expression of the transcription factors TBX21, GATA-3, FOXP3 and RORC.

PMID 25292313


CD4(+) T cells orchestrate the immune response by differentiating into T helper (Th) or regulatory (Treg) cell subsets that secrete distinct sets of cytokines. They also play a critical role in the pathogenesis of autoimmunity, asthma, allergy and, likely, cancer. The mechanisms involved in the regulation of CD4(+) T cell homeostasis by galectin-1 remain poorly characterized. To investigate whether galectin-1 modulates the differentiation of CD4(+) T cells, the effects of galectin-1 on the mRNA expression levels of TBX21, GATA-3, FOXP3 and RORC in activated peripheral blood mononuclear cells were examined. The expression levels of GATA-3 and FOXP3 mRNA were up-regulated after treatment with 1.0 μg/ml galectin-1 and were unchanged (for GATA-3) or slightly elevated (for FOXP3) compared with untreated cells when 2.0 μg/ml galectin-1 was added. At the same time, at both concentrations of galectin-1, we observed reduced TBX21 and RORC mRNA expression levels. These findings support the concept that galectin-1 skews the differentiation of CD4(+) T cells towards Th2 and Treg cells.

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