Galectin-3 is a β-galactoside-binding lectin which is important in cell proliferation and apo-ptotic regulation. Recently, serum galectin-3 has been shown to have prognostic value as a biomarker in heart failure. Encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) can cause severe myocarditis, congestive heart failure and dilated cardiomyopathy as well as encephalitis in various animals including mice. The pathophysiological role of galectin-3 in acute myocarditis following viral infection is not fully understood. The goal of this study is to determine the cardiac localization and the time-course of galectin-3 expression in heart failure after viral inoculation with EMCV. At 12, 24, 48, 96 hours, 7 and 10 days after intraperitoneal EMCV inoculation, animals were examined histologically and analyzed for the expression of galectin-3 and Iba1. Galectin-3 was up-regulated in degenerated fibrotic lesions of cardiac tissues 96 hours after viral inoculation and were followed by myocardial fibrosis. At the same time, Iba1 positive macrophages were observed within the inflammatory sites. A time-course correlation between the number of galectin-3 positive cells and the cardiac area of degenerated fibrotic lesions was detected—serum galectin-3 increased at 96 hours and correlated well with the number of cardiac galectin-3 positive cells. Our results indicate that galectin-3 expression may be a useful biomarker of cardiac fibrotic degeneration in acute myocarditis following viral infection. In addition, measuring serum galectin-3 levels might be an early diagnostic method for detecting cardiac degeneration in acute myocarditis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)