Galectin-4 increases the ability of M2 macrophages to enhance antiviral CD4+ T-cell responses

J Leukoc Biol. 2023 Jan 10;113(1):71-83. doi: 10.1093/jleuko/qiac008.


Galectin-4 (Gal-4) is a β-galactoside-binding protein belonging to the galectin family. Although Gal-4 is known to be involved in several physiologic processes of the gastrointestinal tract, its immunomodulatory roles remain unclear. In this study, we investigated whether Gal-4 influences the function of M1 and M2 macrophages. Gal-4 treatment drove more robust changes in the gene expression of M2 macrophages compared to M1 macrophages. Antiviral immune response-related genes were significantly upregulated in Gal-4-treated M2 macrophages. Gal-4 significantly enhanced the immunostimulatory activity of M2 macrophages upon Toll-like receptor 7 stimulation or infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). Moreover, the antibody production against LCMV infection and the antiviral CD4+ T-cell responses, but not the antiviral CD8+ T-cell responses, were greatly increased by Gal-4-treated M2 macrophages in vivo. The present results indicate that Gal-4 enhances the ability of M2 macrophages to promote antiviral CD4+ T-cell responses. Thus, Gal-4 could be used to boost antiviral immune responses.

Keywords: CD4+ T cell; M1 macrophage; M2 macrophage; galectin-4; lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / metabolism
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • Galectin 4* / metabolism
  • Macrophages / metabolism


  • Galectin 4
  • Antiviral Agents