Background: Previous studies have shown that Galectin-3, a member of lectin family, is expressed in developing cartilage in mouse embryo and also in growth plate of long bones.
Objective: In the present work, the expression pattern of Galectin-3 in normal and various grades of osteoarthritic (OA) human articular cartilage has been studied.
Methods: Using immunohistochemistry and standard western blotting, the in vivo and in vitro expression pattern of Galectin-3 in normal and OA human articular cartilage were assessed.
Results: Immunohistochemical studies showed a similar pattern of Galectin-3 expression in normal and mild OA but severe OA showed different strong expression in all zones of human articular cartilage.
Conclusion: Increased expression pattern of Galectin-3 in advanced stages of OA may occur as a result of the imbalance of chondrocyte homeostasis that occurs in OA cartilage and provides a condition to modify normal chondrocyte to an OA chondroctye.