Fibrotic diseases occur in a variety of organs that lead to continuous organ injury, function decline, even failure. Nevertheless, there are currently limited effective treatment options. Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is a pleiotropic lectin which plays an important role in cell proliferation, adhesion, differentiation, angiogenesis and apoptosis. Accumulating evidence indicates that Gal-3 activates a variety of pro-fibrotic factors, promotes fibroblasts proliferation and transformation, and mediates collagens production. Recent studies have defined key roles for Gal-3 in fibrogenesis in diverse organ systems including liver, kidney, lung, and myocardial. To help set the stage for future research, we review recent advances about the role played by Gal-3 in fibrotic diseases. Herein we discuss the potential pro-fibrotic role of Gal-3 and inhibition of which may represent a promising therapeutic strategy against tissue fibrosis.
- The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics