Galectin 3 enhances platelet aggregation and thrombosis via Dectin-1 activation: A translational study

Yufei Chen, Wanrong Fu, Yunbo Zheng, Jing Yang, Yangyang Liu, Zhiyong Qi, Meiling Wu, Zhichao Fan, Kanhua Yin, Yunfeng Chen, Wen Gao, Zhongren Ding, Jianzeng Dong, Qi Li, Si Zhang, Liang Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: Galectin-3, a β-galactoside-binding lectin, is abnormally increased in cardiovascular disease. Plasma Galectin-3 receives a Class II recommendation for heart failure management and has been extensively studied for multiple cellular functions. The direct effects of Galectin-3 on platelet activation remain unclear. This study explores the direct effects of Galectin-3 on platelet activation and thrombosis. Methods and results: A strong positive correlation between plasma Galectin-3 concentration and platelet aggregation or whole blood thrombus formation was observed in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Multiple platelet function studies demonstrated that Galectin-3 directly potentiated platelet activation and in vivo thrombosis. Mechanistic studies using the Dectin-1 inhibitor, laminarin, and Dectin-1-/- mice revealed that Galectin-3 bound to and activated Dectin-1, a receptor not previously reported in platelets, to phosphorylate spleen tyrosine kinase and thus increased Ca2+ influx, protein kinase C activation, and reactive oxygen species production to regulate platelet hyperreactivity. TD139, a Galectin-3 inhibitor in a Phase II clinical trial, concentration dependently suppressed Galectin-3-potentiated platelet activation and inhibited occlusive thrombosis without exacerbating haemorrhage in ApoE-/- mice, which spontaneously developed increased plasma Galectin-3 levels. TD139 also suppressed microvascular thrombosis to protect the heart from myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion injury in ApoE-/- mice. Conclusion: Galectin-3 is a novel positive regulator of platelet hyperreactivity and thrombus formation in CAD. As TD139 has potent antithrombotic effects without bleeding risk, Galectin-3 inhibitors may have therapeutic advantages as potential antiplatelet drugs for patients with high plasma Galectin-3 levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3556-3574
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Heart Journal
Issue number37
StatePublished - Oct 7 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Antithrombotic
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Dectin-1
  • Galectin-3
  • Platelet hyperreactivity
  • TD139

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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