Galectin-3 deficiency protects pancreatic islet cells from cytokine-triggered apoptosis in vitro
Nilsson, Ulf J
Lukić, Miodrag L
Stojanović, Ivana T
Stošić-Grujičić, Stanislava D.
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Beta cell apoptosis is a hallmark of diabetes. Since we have previously shown that galectin-3 deficient (LGALS3/) mice are relatively resistant to diabetes induction, the aim of this study was to examine whether beta cell apoptosis depends on the presence of galectin-3 and to delineate the underlying mechanism. Deficiency of galectin-3, either hereditary or induced through application of chemical inhibitors, -lactose or TD139, supported survival and function of islet beta cells compromised by TNF-+IFN-+IL-1 stimulus. Similarly, inhibition of galectin-3 by -lactose or TD139 reduced cytokine-triggered apoptosis of beta cells, leading to conclusion that endogenous galectin-3 propagates beta apoptosis in the presence of an inflammatory milieu. Exploring apoptosis-related molecules expression in primary islet cells before and after treatment with cytokines we found that galectin-3 ablation affected the expression of major components of mitochondrial apoptotic pathway, such as BAX, caspase-9, Apaf, SMAC, caspase-3, and AIF. In contrast, anti-apoptotic molecules Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL were up-regulated in LGALS3/ islet cells when compared to wild-type (WT) counterparts (C57BL/6), resulting in increased ratio of anti-apoptotic versus pro-apoptotic molecules. However, Fas-triggered apoptotic pathway as well as extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) was not influenced by LGALS-3 deletion. All together, these results point to an important role of endogenous galectin-3 in beta cell apoptosis in the inflammatory milieu that occurs during diabetes pathogenesis and implicates impairment of mitochondrial apoptotic pathway as a key event in protection from beta cell apoptosis in the absence of galectin-3. J. Cell. Physiol. 228: 15681576, 2013. (c) 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.