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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Galectin-9 induces maturation of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells.

Maturation of dendritic cells (DCs) is critical for initiation of immune responses and is regulated by various stimulatory signals. We assessed the role of galectin (Gal)-9 in DC maturation. Culture of immature DCs with exogenous Gal-9 markedly increased the surface expression of CD40, CD54, CD80, CD83, CD86, and HLA-DR in a dose-dependent manner, although Gal-9 had no or little effect on differentiation of human monocytes into immature DCs. Gal-9-treated DCs secreted IL-12 but not IL-10, and they elicited the production of Th1 cytokines (IFN-gamma and IL-2) but not that of the Th2 cytokines (IL-4 and IL-5) by allogeneic CD4+ T cells. These effects of Gal-9 on immature DCs were not essentially dependent on its lectin properties, given that they were inhibited only slightly by lactose. We further found that a Gal-9 mutant that lacks beta-galactoside binding activity reproduced the above activities and that an anti-Gal-9 mAb suppressed them. Gal-9 induced phosphorylation of the MAPK p38 and ERK1/2 in DCs, and an inhibitor of p38 signaling, but not inhibitors of signaling by either ERK1/2 or PI3K, blocked Gal-9-induced up-regulation of costimulatory molecule expression and IL-12 production. These findings suggest that Gal-9 plays a role not only in innate immunity but also in acquired immunity by inducing DC maturation and promoting Th1 immune responses.[1]


  1. Galectin-9 induces maturation of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells. Dai, S.Y., Nakagawa, R., Itoh, A., Murakami, H., Kashio, Y., Abe, H., Katoh, S., Kontani, K., Kihara, M., Zhang, S.L., Hata, T., Nakamura, T., Yamauchi, A., Hirashima, M. J. Immunol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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