Serum galectin-3, but not galectin-1, levels are elevated in schizophrenia: implications for the role of inflammation

Kosuke Kajitani, Kazuyuki Yanagimoto, Yusaku Nakabeppu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Previous studies have reported that galectin-3 is involved in inflammatory processes in the central nervous system and that neuroinflammation may play a role in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. However, the link between schizophrenia and various galectins is unclear. Objective: The objective of the present study is to determine whether galectin, a well-known lectin protein that binds to μ-galactoside, is associated with chronic schizophrenia. Methods: Thirty-six patients with schizophrenia and 36 healthy controls participated in this study. Schizophrenia symptoms were assessed using the Brief Psychiatry Rating Scale (BPRS). Serum galectin-1 and galectin-3 levels were evaluated using ELISA and compared between the participant groups. Correlation analyses were also performed to examine the relationship between BPRS scores and each galectin level. Results: Serum galectin-3 levels were significantly higher in patients with schizophrenia than they were in controls (p = 0.009, d = 0.640); however, serum galectin-1 levels were not significantly different between the groups (p = 0.513). No significant correlation was identified between serum galectin-3 level and the total BPRS score; however, a significant positive correlation was found between the serum galectin-3 level and the positive symptom score of the BPRS (ρ = 0.355; p = 0.033). Additionally, a significant negative correlation was identified between serum galectin-3 levels and the negative symptom score of the BPRS (ρ = −0.387; p = 0.020). Conclusions: Given the high serum levels of galectin-3 found in patients with schizophrenia compared with that in controls, these findings may support the inflammation hypothesis of schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2919-2927
Number of pages9
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology

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