Galectin-3 Mediates NETosis and Acts as an Autoantigen in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus-Associated Diffuse Alveolar Haemorrhage

Shih Yao Chen, Chung Teng Wang, Ching Yi Chen, Pin Yu Kuo, Chrong Reen Wang, Ai-Li Shiau, Cheng Hsi Chang, Chao-Liang Wu

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a systemic autoimmune disease with enhanced NETosis and impaired degradation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). Galectin-3 is a β-galactoside binding protein and is associated with neutrophil functions as well as involved in mediating autoimmune disorders. In this study, we plan to examine the associations of galectin-3 with the pathogenesis of SLE and NETosis. Galectin-3 expression levels were determined in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of SLE patients for the association with lupus nephritis (LN) or correlation of SLE disease activity index 2000 (SLEDAI-2K). NETosis was observed in human normal and SLE and murine galectin-3 knockout (Gal-3 KO) neutrophils. Gal-3 KO and wild-type (WT) mice induced by pristane were used to evaluate disease signs, including diffuse alveolar haemorrhage (DAH), LN, proteinuria, anti-ribonucleoprotein (RNP) antibody, citrullinated histone 3 (CitH3) levels, and NETosis. Galectin-3 levels are higher in PBMCs of SLE patients compared with normal donors and positively correlated with LN or SLEDAI-2K. Gal-3 KO mice have higher percent survival and lower DAH, LN proteinuria, and anti-RNP antibody levels than WT mice induced by pristane. NETosis and citH3 levels are reduced in Gal-3 KO neutrophils. Furthermore, galectin-3 resides in NETs while human neutrophils undergo NETosis. Galectin-3-associated immune complex deposition can be observed in NETs from spontaneously NETotic cells of SLE patients. In this study, we provide clinical relevance of galectin-3 to the lupus phenotypes and the underlying mechanisms of galectin-3-mediated NETosis for developing novel therapeutic strategies targeting galectin-3 for SLE.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9493
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jun

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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