Galectin 3 induces a distinctive pattern of cytokine and chemokine production in rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts via selective signaling pathways

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Authors

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

High expression of galectin 3 at sites of joint destruction in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) suggests that galectin 3 plays a role in RA pathogenesis. Previous studies have demonstrated the effects of galectins on immune cells, such as lymphocytes and macrophages. This study was undertaken to investigate the hypothesis that galectin 3 induces proinflammatory effects in RA by modulating the pattern of cytokine and chemokine production in synovial fibroblasts.

METHODS:

Matched samples of RA synovial and skin fibroblasts were pretreated with galectin 3 or tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha), and the levels of a panel of cytokines, chemokines, and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and multiplex assays. Specific inhibitors were used to dissect signaling pathways, which were confirmed by Western blotting and NF-kappaB activation assay.

RESULTS:

Galectin 3 induced secretion of interleukin-6 (IL-6), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, CXCL8, and MMP-3 in both synovial and skin fibroblasts. By contrast, galectin 3-induced secretion of TNFalpha, CCL2, CCL3, and CCL5 was significantly greater in synovial fibroblasts than in skin fibroblasts. TNFalpha blockade ruled out autocrine TNFalpha-stimulated induction of chemokines. The MAPKs p38, JNK, and ERK were necessary for IL-6 production, but phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) was required for selective CCL5 induction. NF-kappaB activation was required for production of both IL-6 and CCL5.

CONCLUSION:

Our findings indicate that galectin 3 promotes proinflammatory cytokine secretion by tissue fibroblasts. However, galectin 3 induces the production of mononuclear cell-recruiting chemokines uniquely from synovial fibroblasts, but not matched skin fibroblasts, via a PI 3-kinase signaling pathway. These data provide further evidence of the role of synovial fibroblasts in regulating the pattern and persistence of the inflammatory infiltrate in RA and suggest a new and important functional consequence of the observed high expression of galectin 3 in the rheumatoid synovium.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1604-1614
Number of pages11
JournalArthritis & Rheumatism
Volume60
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009