Dis Markers. 2022 Apr 9;2022:8316004. doi: 10.1155/2022/8316004. eCollection 2022.
Galectin-3 is one of the galectin family members which are master regulators of immune homeostasis, especially in infectious diseases. However, its mechanism of immune regulation in fungal keratitis has not been thoroughly studied. Our study is aimed at clarifying the role of galectin-3 in the fungal keratitis mouse model in vivo, thereby providing a new biomarker of antifungal therapy. In our study, aspergillus, the most common pathogenic fungi of fungal keratitis, was identified and isolated by corneal tissue fungus culture. Then, the RNA expression levels of galectin family members in corneas of the mouse model with aspergillus fumigatus keratitis were screened by transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq). The expression of the galectin-3 was detected by quantitative real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and immunofluorescence in the corneal tissue of the fungal keratitis mouse model. Recruitment of neutrophils and the co-immunofluorescence of galectin-3 and related markers in corneal tissue were determined by flow cytometry analysis and immunofluorescence staining. The regulatory role of galectin-3 for proinflammatory cytokines and neutrophils was validated by the knockout mouse model. Galectin-3 knockout deteriorated the condition for the inhibition of galectin-3 was benefecial for fungi to survive and thrive in corneal lesions. These results demonstrated that in the ocular fungal infection, galectin-3 is capable of regulating the pathogenesis of fungal keratitis by modulating neutrophil recruitment. The deterioration of fungal keratitis and increased fungal load in corneal lesions of galectin-3 knockout mice proved the regulatory role of galectin-3 in fungal keratitis. In conclusion, galectin-3 is going to be an essential target to modulate neutrophil recruitment and its related antifungal immune response in fungal keratitis.