Galectin-3 is expressed in the notochord, developing bones, and skin of the postimplantation mouse embryo

Dev Dyn. 1995 Jun;203(2):241-51. doi: 10.1002/aja.1002030211.


The galectins are a family of low molecular weight, calcium-independent mammalian carbohydrate binding proteins that exhibit specificity for beta-galactoside derivatives. We have examined the expression pattern of galectin-3 in the developing mouse embryo by in situ hybridisation and immunohistochemistry. In the embryo proper, galectin-3 message and protein are first detected in notochord, starting from 8.5 days post coitum (dpc), and persist until this structure disappears. Galectin-3 is later found in cartilage primordia and in developing skin from 13.5 dpc. This very restricted and dynamic pattern suggests that galectin-3 may participate in the establishment and/or maintenance of notochord as well as the formation of cartilage and differentiation of skin. Finally, we find that galectin-3, which is identical to the macrophage marker Mac-2, is also expressed in embryonic macrophages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Differentiation / metabolism*
  • Bone and Bones / embryology*
  • Embryo, Mammalian / metabolism*
  • Embryonic Development*
  • Female
  • Galectin 3
  • Mice
  • Notochord / metabolism*
  • Pregnancy
  • Skin / metabolism*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Galectin 3