Galectin-9 prolongs the survival of septic mice by expanding tim-3-expressing natural killer T cells and PDCA-1+ CD11c+ macrophages

Takashi Kadowaki, Asahiro Morishita, Toshiro Niki, Junko Hara, Miwa Sato, Joji Tani, Hisaaki Miyoshi, Hirohito Yoneyama, Tsutomu Masaki, Toshio Hattori, Akihiro Matsukawa, Mitsuomi Hirashima

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Galectin-9 ameliorates various inflammatory conditions including autoimmune diseases by regulating T cell and macrophage/dendritic cell (DC) functions. However, the effect of galectin-9 on polymicrobial sepsis has not been assessed.Methods: We induced polymicrobial sepsis by cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) in mice. The survival rate was compared between galectin-9- and PBS-treated CLP mice. An ELISA was used to compare the levels of various cytokines in the plasma and culture supernatants. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis was further performed to compare the frequencies of subpopulations of spleen cells.Results: Galectin-9 exhibited a protective effect in polymicrobial sepsis as demonstrated in galetin-9 transgenic mice and therapeutic galectin-9 administration. In contrast, such effect was not observed in nude mice, indicating the involvement of T cells in galectin-9-mediated survival prolongation. Galectin-9 decreased TNFα, IL-6, IL-10 and, high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) and increased IL-15 and IL-17 plasma and spleen levels. Galectin-9 increased the frequencies of natural killer T (NKT) cells and PDCA-1+ CD11c+ macrophages (pDC-like macrophages) but did not change the frequency of CD4 or CD8 T cells, γδT cells or conventional DC. As expected, galectin-9 decreased the frequency of Tim-3+ CD4 T cells, most likely Th1 and Th17 cells. Intriguingly, many spleen NK1.1+ NKT cells and pDC-like macrophages expressed Tim-3. Galectin-9 increased the frequency of Tim-3-expressing NK1.1+ NKT cells and pDC-like macrophages. Galectin-9 further increased IL-17+ NK1.1+ NKT cells.Conclusion: These data suggest that galectin-9 exerts therapeutic effects on polymicrobial sepsis, possibly by expanding NKT cells and pDC-like macrophages and by modulating the production of early and late proinflammatory cytokines.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberR284
JournalCritical Care
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 9 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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