Galectin secretion and binding to adult Fasciola hepatica during chronic liver fluke infection of sheep

Anna R Young, Garry J Barcham, Hamish EG McWilliam, David M Piedrafita, Els NT Meeusen

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Galectins are increasingly recognised as important mediators of immune homeostasis and disease regulation, but comparatively little is known about their role in parasite infection. This study investigates the interaction between two ovine galectins, galectin-11 and galectin-14, and the parasitic liver fluke, F. hepatica. Galectin-14 was found in eosinophils infiltrating the tissue surrounding infected bile ducts and secreted in the connective tissue, while galectin-11 was specifically induced in epithelial cells of bile ducts from infected sheep. Strong nuclear staining was observed for galectin-11. Both galectins were found to be secreted into the bile fluid of parasite infected sheep, and were also detected in the excretory/secretory products of adult flukes, following their removal from the ovine host. Recombinant galectin-14, but not recombinant galectin-11, was found to bind specifically to the surface tegument of adult flukes in a carbohydrate dependent manner. This study shows for the first time that both galectin-14 and galectin-11 are produced in liver tissue after chronic liver fluke infection and that they can directly interact with the parasite in the bile ducts. Galectin-11 may also be involved in epithelial cell turnover and cancerogenesis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362 - 367
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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