Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is increased in heart failure (HF) and promotes cardiac fibrosis and inflammation. We investigated whether Gal-3 modulates oxidative stress in human cardiac fibroblasts, in experimental animal models and in human aortic stenosis (AS). Using proteomics and immunodetection approaches, we have identified that Gal-3 down-regulated the antioxidant peroxiredoxin-4 (Prx-4) in cardiac fibroblasts. In parallel, Gal-3 increased peroxide, nitrotyrosine, malondialdehyde, and N-carboxymethyl-lysine levels and decreased total antioxidant capacity. Gal-3 decreased prohibitin-2 expression without modifying other mitochondrial proteins. Prx-4 silencing increased oxidative stress markers. In Gal-3-silenced cells and in heart from Gal-3 knockout mice, Prx-4 was increased and oxidative stress markers were decreased. Pharmacological inhibition of Gal-3 with modified citrus pectin restored cardiac Prx-4 as well as prohibitin-2 levels and improved oxidative status in spontaneously hypertensive rats. In serum from 87 patients with AS, Gal-3 negatively correlated with total antioxidant capacity and positively correlated with peroxide. In myocardial biopsies from 26 AS patients, Gal-3 up-regulation paralleled a decrease in Prx-4 and in prohibitin-2. Cardiac Gal-3 inversely correlated with Prx-4 levels in myocardial biopsies. These data suggest that Gal-3 decreased Prx-4 antioxidant system in cardiac fibroblasts, increasing oxidative stress. In pathological models presenting enhanced cardiac Gal-3, the decrease in Prx-4 expression paralleled increased oxidative stress. Gal-3 blockade restored Prx-4 expression and improved oxidative stress status. In AS, circulating levels of Gal-3 could reflect oxidative stress. The alteration of the balance between antioxidant systems and reactive oxygen species production could be a new pathogenic mechanism by which Gal-3 induces cardiac damage in HF.
Keywords: antioxidant response elements; cardiac fibroblasts; galectins; peroxiredoxins.
© 2018 The Author(s). Published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.