Galectin-3 inhibition prevents adipose tissue remodelling in obesity

Int J Obes (Lond). 2016 Jun;40(6):1034-8. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2016.19. Epub 2016 Feb 8.


Extracellular matrix remodelling of the adipose tissue has a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of obesity. Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is increased in obesity and mediates inflammation and fibrosis in the cardiovascular system. However, the effects of Gal-3 on adipose tissue remodelling associated with obesity remain unclear. Male Wistar rats were fed either a high-fat diet (33.5% fat) or a standard diet (3.5% fat) for 6 weeks. Half of the animals of each group were treated with the pharmacological inhibitor of Gal-3, modified citrus pectin (MCP; 100 mg kg(-1) per day) in the drinking water. In adipose tissue, obese animals presented an increase in Gal-3 levels that were accompanied by an increase in pericellular collagen. Obese rats exhibited higher adipose tissue inflammation, as well as enhanced differentiation degree of the adipocytes. Treatment with MCP prevented all the above effects. In mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes, Gal-3 (10(-8 )m) treatment increased fibrosis, inflammatory and differentiation markers. In conclusion, Gal-3 emerges as a potential therapeutic target in adipose tissue remodelling associated with obesity and could have an important role in the development of metabolic alterations associated with obesity.

MeSH terms

  • 3T3-L1 Cells
  • Adipocytes / drug effects*
  • Adipocytes / pathology*
  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects*
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology*
  • Adiposity / drug effects*
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Galectin 3 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Inflammation
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Pectins / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Galectin 3
  • Pectins