The role of galectin-1 in prevention and treatment of ulcerative colitis

Histological colitis score of all groups.

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects many people across the world. The extraintestinal and systemic manifestations may also appear in patients with ulcerative colitis.

The current drugs employed in colitis therapy are immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory agents aiming to treat the inflammation. However, these drugs are not treating the causes of colitis. In addition, these treatments are not effective for full recovery from the disease. Therefore, new and effective treatment methods for ulcerative colitis need to be developed. Galectin-1 is a β-galactoside binding animal lectin which plays the key roles in many biological events.

The study published in BJBMS aims to provide idea about the prophylactic and therapeutic benefits of galectin-1 on ulcerative colitis. In this study, the researchers from Istanbul University investigated the role of galectin-1 on colon morphology, cell proliferation, oxidative stress, antioxidant system, inflammatory and anti-inflammatory mediators on ulcerative colitis in mice model.

Results of their study indicated that galectin-1 is effective on altering the oxidant/antioxidant system and the expression levels of inflammatory mediators on colon tissue. Moreover, the findings of their study suggest that galectin-1 has proliferative, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cytoprotective effects against acute ulcerative colitis in mice. Based on these data, the authors conclude that galectin-1 could be effective in prevention and treatment of ulcerative colitis.


Arda-Pirincci P, Aykol-Celik G. Galectin-1 reduces the severity of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced ulcerative colitis by suppressing inflammatory and oxidative stress response. Bosn J of Basic Med Sci; 2020.

Editor: Edna Skopljak

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