Lack of galectin-1 or galectin-3 alters B cell deletion and anergy in an autoantibody transgene model.
Members of the galectin family of proteins have been shown to regulate the development and the function of immune cells. We previously identified the increased expression of galectin-1 and galectin-3 mRNA and protein in anergic B cells relative to their naïve counterparts. To investigate the role of these galectins in maintaining B cell tolerance, we crossed mice deficient in galectin-1 or galectin-3 with mice bearing a lupus autoantigen-binding transgenic (Tg) B cell receptor, using a model with a well-characterized B cell tolerance phenotype of deletion, receptor editing and anergy. Here, we present data showing that the global knockout of galectin-1 or galectin-3 yields subtle alterations in B cell fate in autoantibody Tg mice. The absence of galectin-3 leads to a significant increase in the number of Tg spleen B cells, with the recovery of anti-laminin antibodies from a subset of mice. The B cell number increases further in antibody Tg mice with the dual deficiency of both galectin-1 and galectin-3. Isolated galectin-1 deficiency significantly enhances the proliferation of Tg B cells in response to lipopolysaccharide stimulation. These findings add to the growing body of evidence indicating a role for the various galectin family members, and for galectins 1 and 3 in particular, in the regulation of autoimmunity.
Clark, AG; Weston, ML; Foster, MH
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