Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is a 26-kDa lectin that regulates many aspects of inflammatory cell behavior. We assessed the hypothesis that increased levels of Gal-3 contribute to abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) progression by enhancing monocyte chemoattraction through macrophage activation. We analyzed the plasma levels of Gal-3 in 76 patients with AAA (AAA group) and 97 controls (CTL group) as well as in angiotensin II (Ang-II)-infused ApoE knockout mice. Additionally, conditioned media (CM) were used to polarize THP-1 monocyte to M1 macrophages with or without Gal-3 inhibition through small interfering RNA targeted deletion to investigate whether Gal-3 inhibition could attenuate macrophage-induced inflammation and smooth muscle cell (SMC) apoptosis. Our results showed a markedly increased expression of Gal-3 in the plasma and aorta in the AAA patients and experimental mice compared with the CTL group. An in vitro study demonstrated that the M1 cells exhibited increased Gal-3 expression. Gal-3 inhibition markedly decreased the quantity of macrophage-induced inflammatory regulators, including IL-8, TNF-α, and IL-1β, as well as messenger RNA expression and MMP-9 activity. Moreover, Gal-3-deficient CM weakened SMC apoptosis through Fas activation. These findings prove that Gal-3 may contribute to AAA progression by the activation of inflammatory macrophages, thereby promoting SMC apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8257
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Galectin-3
  • Macrophage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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