, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 1-8
Date: 17 Feb 2010

Galectin-3 in Cardiac Remodeling and Heart Failure

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Galectin-3 is a member of the galectin family, which consists of animal lectins that bind β-galactosides. Recently, a role for galectin-3 in the pathophysiology of heart failure has been suggested. It was observed that galectin-3 is specifically upregulated in decompensated heart failure compared with compensated heart failure in animal models of heart failure. This has been associated with activation of fibroblasts and macrophages, which are a hallmark of cardiac remodeling. Therefore, galectin-3 may be a culprit biomarker in heart failure. Initial clinical observations indicate that galectin-3 may be a useful biomarker for decompensated heart failure, with incremental value over well-used “pressure-dependent” biomarkers, such as B-type natriuretic peptide. Future studies should focus on galectin-3 biology to better address the usefulness of galectin-3 as a biomarker and probe the usefulness of anti-galectin-3 therapy in treating heart failure.