Galectin-3 Possesses Anti-Necroptotic and Anti-Apoptotic Effects in Cisplatin-Induced Acute Tubular Necrosis

Cell Physiol Biochem. 2021 Jun 26;55(3):344-363. doi: 10.33594/000000381.


Background/aims: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a public health burden with increasing morbidity, mortality and health care cost. It is associated with increased risk for the development of chronic kidney disease and death. Acute tubular necrosis (ATN) is the most common cause of AKI. Apoptosis and tissue necrosis play an important role in ATN. Galectin 3 (GAL-3), a beta galactoside binding lectin, is known to have a role in inflammation, apoptosis and oxidative stress but its role in cisplatin induced acute tubular necrosis is not clearly elucidated.

Methods: Male C57B6-J and C57BL-6 -GAL-3 knock-out mice were used to induce ATN using cisplatin mouse model of acute tubular necrosis. GAL-3 expression, apoptotic, necrotic and necroptotic proteins in kidneys were measured using standard histologic, immunohistochemical, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay techniques. Data were presented as mean ± S.E. Statistically significant differences (p<0.05) was calculated between experimental groups and corresponding control groups by one-way analysis of variance.

Results: There was a significant increase in GAL-3 in kidneys of cisplatin treated GAL-3 wild mice when compared with its control mice. In addition, there were significant higher percentage of ATN, higher levels of plasma urea and creatinine, and higher levels of cathepsin B and cathepsin D, in kidneys of cisplatin-treated GAL-3 KO mice than cisplatin-treated GAL-3 wild mice. Likewise, there were significant higher levels of necroptosis proteins RIPK1, RIPK3, and MLKL in kidneys of cisplatin-treated GAL-3 KO mice than cisplatin-treated GAL-3 wild mice. Moreover, there were significant higher levels of kidney pro-apoptotic proteins; cleaved caspase-3, cleaved PARP, TRAIL and FAS in cisplatin treated GAL-3 KO mice when compared with cisplatin treated GAL-3 wild mice.

Conclusion: GAL-3 can affect cell survival and death through its interaction with necroptotic, apoptotic and pro-survival proteins in renal tubules during cisplatin-induced acute tubular necrosis.

Keywords: Kidney; Acute tubular necrosis; Cisplatin; Galectin-3; Necroptosis; Apoptosis.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / chemically induced
  • Acute Kidney Injury / genetics
  • Acute Kidney Injury / metabolism*
  • Acute Kidney Injury / pathology
  • Animals
  • Cisplatin / adverse effects*
  • Cisplatin / pharmacology
  • Galectin 3 / genetics
  • Galectin 3 / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins / genetics
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Kidney Tubules / metabolism*
  • Kidney Tubules / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Necrosis


  • Galectin 3
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins
  • Lgals3 protein, mouse
  • Cisplatin