Galectin-9 inhibits CD44-hyaluronan interaction and suppresses a murine model of allergic asthma

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2007 Jul 1;176(1):27-35. doi: 10.1164/rccm.200608-1243OC. Epub 2007 Apr 19.


Rationale: Galectin-9 (Gal-9) belongs to the galectin family, which exhibits affinity for beta-galactosides. Gal-9 has a variety of biological activities; however, its role in allergic inflammation is unknown.

Objectives: We evaluated the effect of a stable form of the human protein on allergic airway inflammation in a mite allergen-induced asthma model.

Methods: Human stable Gal-9 was given by intravenous injection to mice during antigen challenge. The effect of Gal-9 on airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) was then evaluated.

Measurements and main results: Gal-9 reduced AHR as well as Th2-associated airway inflammation. Furthermore, administration of Gal-9 as well as anti-CD44 monoclonal antibody inhibited the infiltration of peripheral blood Th2 cells into the airway. Interestingly, Gal-9 directly bound the CD44 adhesion molecule and inhibited interactions with hyaluronan (HA). Consistent with the concept that CD44-HA interactions mediate the migration of T cells into the lung, Gal-9 blocked CD44-dependent adhesion of BW5147 mouse T cells to HA.

Conclusions: We conclude that Gal-9 inhibits allergic inflammation of the airway and AHR by modulating CD44-dependent leukocyte recognition of the extracellular matrix.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Dermatophagoides / immunology
  • Arthropod Proteins
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Bronchial Provocation Tests / methods
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Extracellular Matrix / immunology
  • Galectins / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronan Receptors / immunology*
  • Hyaluronic Acid / immunology*
  • Leukocytes / immunology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C


  • Antigens, Dermatophagoides
  • Arthropod Proteins
  • Galectins
  • Hyaluronan Receptors
  • LGALS9 protein, human
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases
  • Dermatophagoides farinae antigen f 1