Galectin and Immune System: Toward Clinical Applications

  • Mitsuomi Hirashima


We first cloned galectin-9 (Gal-9) as a T cell-derived eosinophil chemoattractant. Gal-9 plays a role in not only accumulation but also activation of eosinophils in experimental allergic models and human allergic patients, because Gal-9 induces eosinophil chemoattraction in vitro and in vivo and activates eosinophils in many aspects (Matsumoto et al. 1998). However, Gal-9 also has other functions, such as cell differentiation, aggregation, adhesion, and cell death, than eosinophil chemoattraction and activation (Kashio et al. 2003; Dai et al. 2005). For example, in patients with malignant tumor, such as malignant melanoma and breast cancer, high Gal-9 expression in tumor cells links to better clinical features in tumor-bearing patients (Kageshita et al. 2002; Irie et al. 2005). From the above findings, we have established Galpharma, a Bio-Venture company to develop the method for predicting tumor metastasis, especially for breast cancer.


Treg Cell Synovial Cell Pannus Formation Treg Cell Differentiation Synovial Cell Proliferation 
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© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mitsuomi Hirashima
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Immunology and Immunopathology, Faculty of MedicineKagawa UniversityKagawaJapan

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