Tolerogenic signals delivered by dendritic cells to T cells through a galectin-1-driven immunoregulatory circuit involving interleukin 27 and interleukin 10

Nat Immunol. 2009 Sep;10(9):981-91. doi: 10.1038/ni.1772. Epub 2009 Aug 9.


Despite their central function in orchestrating immunity, dendritic cells (DCs) can respond to inhibitory signals by becoming tolerogenic. Here we show that galectin-1, an endogenous glycan-binding protein, can endow DCs with tolerogenic potential. After exposure to galectin-1, DCs acquired an interleukin 27 (IL-27)-dependent regulatory function, promoted IL-10-mediated T cell tolerance and suppressed autoimmune neuroinflammation. Consistent with its regulatory function, galectin-1 had its highest expression on DCs exposed to tolerogenic stimuli and was most abundant from the peak through the resolution of autoimmune pathology. DCs lacking galectin-1 had greater immunogenic potential and an impaired ability to halt inflammatory disease. Our findings identify a tolerogenic circuit linking galectin-1 signaling, IL-27-producing DCs and IL-10-secreting T cells, which has broad therapeutic implications in immunopathology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD40 Antigens / physiology
  • Dendritic Cells / physiology*
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / etiology
  • Female
  • Galectin 1 / genetics
  • Galectin 1 / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Glycoproteins / immunology
  • Immune Tolerance*
  • Interleukin-10 / physiology*
  • Interleukins / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / physiology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • CD40 Antigens
  • Galectin 1
  • Glycoproteins
  • Il27 protein, mouse
  • Interleukins
  • Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein
  • Peptide Fragments
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • Stat3 protein, mouse
  • myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (35-55)
  • Interleukin-10