Systemic galectin-3 in smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic bronchitis: The impact of exacerbations
Journal article, 2021

The carbohydrate-binding protein Galectin-3 is increased in several inflammatory diseases and has recently been forwarded as a systemic biomarker in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In this longitudinal study, we characterized the level of systemic Galectin-3 using blood from smokers with a history of COPD and chronic bronchitis (COPD-CB), during stable clinical conditions and exacerbations. Patients and
The study population comprised 56 long-term smokers with COPD-CB, 10 long-term smokers without lung disease (LTS) and 10 clinically healthy never-smokers (HNS). Blood samples were analyzed for levels of Galectin-3, leukocyte populations and C-reactive protein (CRP). In addition, sputum samples from the COPD-CB group were analyzed for bacterial growth.
When comparing stable clinical conditions and exacerbations in the COPD-CB group, we found that the level of Galectin-3, just like that of CRP, leukocytes and neutrophils, respectively, was increased during exacerbations. However, this exacerbation-associated increase of Galectin-3 was modest. During stable clinical conditions of COPD-CB, the level of Galectin-3 was not elevated in comparison with HNS or LTS. Nor did this level of Galectin-3 distinguish patients that remained in a clinically stable condition throughout the study to those that developed an exacerbation. In addition, neither during stable clinical conditions nor during exacerbations, did the presence of bacterial growth in sputum alter Galectin-3 levels. In contrast to Galectin-3, the level of CRP, leukocytes and neutrophils, respectively, were increased during clinical stable conditions in the COPD-CB group compared with the other groups and were further enhanced during exacerbations.
Systemic Galectin-3 is increased in a reproducible but modest manner during exacerbations in smokers with COPD-CB. During stable clinical conditions, the level of systemic Galectin-3 does not distinguish patients that remain clinically stable from those that develop exacerbations. This makes it less likely that systemic Galectin-3 may become a clinically useful biomarker in the current setting.



Airflow limitation



Martina Sundqvist

University of Gothenburg

Kristina Andelid

University of Gothenburg

Ann Ekberg-Jansson

University of Gothenburg

Johan Bylund

University of Gothenburg

Anna Karlsson-Bengtsson

University of Gothenburg

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Chemical Biology

Anders Lindén

Karolinska Institutet

Karolinska University Hospital

International Journal of COPD

1176-9106 (ISSN) 1178-2005 (eISSN)

Vol. 16 367-377

The glycome of emergency neutrophils and implications in sepsis

Swedish Research Council (VR) (2018-03077), 2019-01-01 -- 2024-12-31.

Subject Categories

Clinical Laboratory Medicine

Respiratory Medicine and Allergy

Rheumatology and Autoimmunity

Areas of Advance

Health Engineering





More information

Latest update