Galectin-10, a potential biomarker of eosinophilic airway inflammation

PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e42549. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042549. Epub 2012 Aug 6.


Measurement of eosinophilic airway inflammation can assist in the diagnosis of allergic asthma and in the management of exacerbations, however its clinical implementation remains difficult. Galectin-10 has been associated with eosinophilic inflammation and has the potential to be used as a surrogate biomarker. This study aimed to assess the relationship between galectin-10 in sputum with sputum eosinophil counts, the current gold standard of eosinophil inflammation in the lung. Thirty-eight sputum samples were processed for both eosinophil counts by cytospins and semi-quantitative measurements of galectin-10 by western blots. A strong association was observed between galectin-10 levels in sputum and sputum eosinophil measurements, and they accurately determined sputum eosinophilia. The results support the potential for galectin-10 to be used as a surrogate biomarker of eosinophilic airway inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Blotting, Western
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cell Count
  • Eosinophils / metabolism*
  • Eosinophils / pathology*
  • Female
  • Galectins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutrophils
  • Respiratory System / metabolism*
  • Respiratory System / pathology*
  • Sputum / cytology


  • Biomarkers
  • Galectins
  • galectin 10, human

Grant support

Funding was provided by The Australian Research Council. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.