Association between circulating galectin-3 levels and the immunological, inflammatory and nutritional parameters in patients with colorectal cancer

Biomed Rep. 2016 Aug;5(2):203-207. doi: 10.3892/br.2016.696. Epub 2016 May 30.


Galectin-3, a β-galactoside-binding lectin, exhibits pleiotropic biological functions and has a role as one of the immunological modulators. However, the associations between circulating galectin-3 and immunological, inflammatory and nutritional parameters have not yet been fully elucidated. The serum concentration of galectin-3 was examined in association with interleukin-10 (IL-10), IL-12 and IL17 production, lymphocyte stimulation, neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (NLR), white blood cell count (WBC), C-reactive protein (CRP) and rapid turnover proteins, including retinol-binding protein (RBP), prealbumin (PA) and transferrin (TF) in 50 patients with untreated colorectal cancers. Significant increases (P<0.05) were observed in the serum galectin-3 levels in patients with untreated colorectal cancer (9.6±4.5 ng/ml) compared with the normal controls (3.2±1.6 ng/ml). Higher serum galectin-3 concentrations were observed in patients with colon cancer (11.5±4.4 ng/ml) compared to in patients with rectal cancer (8.0±4.0 ng/ml) (P=0.005). The levels of circulating galectin-3 inversely correlated with the production of IL-10 (r=-0.59, P<0.001), and IL-12 (r=-0.69, P<0.001). Galectin-3 concentration also inversely correlated with the lymphocyte stimulation assay stimulation index (r=-0.42, P=0.021). However, the level of serum galectin-3 correlated with IL-17 production (r=0.67, P<0.001). Serum galectin-3 levels exhibited significant correlations with NLR (r=0.41, P=0.009), WBC (r=0.32, P=0.035), and CRP (r=0.63, P<0.001), and statistically significant inverse correlations with RBP (r=-0.45, P=0.002), PA (r=-0.46, P=0.001) and TF (r=-0.72, P<0.001). Galectin-3 may be one of the key factors in the regulation of immunological, inflammatory and nutritional conditions.

Keywords: IL-10; IL-12; IL-17; galectin-3; prealbumin; rapid turnover protein; retinol binding protein; transferrin.