Galectin-3: A Harbinger of Reactive Oxygen Species, Fibrosis, and Inflammation in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

David J.R. Fulton, Xueyi Li, Zsuzsanna Bordan, Yusi Wang, Keyvan Mahboubi, R. Daniel Rudic, Stephen Haigh, Feng Chen, Scott A. Barman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Significance: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a progressive disease arising from the narrowing of pulmonary arteries (PAs) resulting in high pulmonary arterial blood pressure and ultimately right ventricle (RV) failure. A defining characteristic of PAH is the excessive and unrelenting inward remodeling of PAs that includes increased proliferation, inflammation, and fibrosis. Critical Issues: There is no cure for PAH nor interventions that effectively arrest or reverse PA remodeling, and intensive research over the past several decades has sought to identify novel molecular mechanisms of therapeutic value. Recent Advances: Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is a carbohydrate-binding lectin remarkable for its chimeric structure, composed of an N-terminal oligomerization domain and a C-terminal carbohydrate-recognition domain. Gal-3 has been identified as a regulator of numerous changes in cell behavior that contributes to aberrant PA remodeling, including cell proliferation, inflammation, and fibrosis, but its role in PAH has remained poorly understood until recently. In contrast, pathological roles for Gal-3 have been proposed in cancer and inflammatory and fibroproliferative disorders, such as pulmonary vascular and cardiac fibrosis. Herein, we summarize the recent literature on the role of Gal-3 in the development of PAH. We provide experimental evidence supporting the ability of Gal-3 to influence reactive oxygen species production, NADPH oxidase enzyme expression, and redox signaling, which have been shown to contribute to both vascular remodeling and increased pulmonary arterial pressure. Future Directions: While several preclinical studies suggest that Gal-3 promotes hypertensive pulmonary vascular remodeling, the clinical significance of Gal-3 in human PAH remains to be established. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 00, 000-000.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1053-1069
Number of pages17
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number14
StatePublished - Nov 10 2019


  • PAH
  • fibrosis
  • galectin-3
  • inflammation
  • pulmonary hypertension
  • reactive oxygen species
  • vascular remodeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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