Author(s): Santucci L, Fiorucci S, Cammilleri F, Servillo G, Federici B,
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Abstract Galectin-1, an endogenous lectin with immunomodulatory activities, induces selective, Fas-independent apoptosis of activated T cells. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect galectin-1 exerts on concanavalin A (Con A)-induced hepatitis, a T-cell-dependent model of liver injury. Con A administration resulted in liver injury, as shown by the increased transaminase plasma levels and liver DNA fragmentation, and caused spleen T-cell activation, which was associated with a strong increment in liver infiltrating T helper cells. Moreover, Con A injection leads to a marked increase in plasma tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) levels. Galectin-1 pretreatment dose-dependently prevented both liver injury and T-helper cell liver infiltration induced by Con A. In vivo and in vitro experiments indicated that the protective effects of galectin-1 depend on the selective elimination of Con A-activated T cells. In addition, galectin-1 almost completely prevented the Con A-induced increase in plasma TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma, an effect that was, at least in part, independent on the elimination of activated T helper cells, because galectin-1 prevented lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced release of TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma also from macrophages in vitro, without affecting their viability. The present study suggests that galectin-1 is potentially useful in the treatment of T-cell-mediated human liver disorders.
This article was published in Hepatology
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology