IL (interleukin)-10-STAT3-galectin-3 axis is essential for osteopontin-producing reparative macrophage polarization after myocardial infarction

Kosuke Shirakawa, Jin Endo, Masaharu Kataoka, Yoshinori Katsumata, Naohiro Yoshida, Tsunehisa Yamamoto, Sarasa Isobe, Hidenori Moriyama, Shinichi Goto, Hiroki Kitakata, Takahiro Hiraide, Keiichi Fukuda, Motoaki Sano

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129 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Both osteopontin (OPN) and galectin-3 have been implicated in phagocytic clearance of dead cells and reparative fibrosis during wound healing. CD206+ macrophages are involved in tissue repair through phagocytosis and fibrosis after myocardial infarction (MI). However, the relationship among OPN, galectin-3, and macrophage polarization in the context of MI remains unclear. METHODS: The time course of Spp1 (encoding OPN) expression in the heart after MI showed a strong activation of Spp1 on day 3 after MI. To identify where in the body and in which cells the transcriptional activity of Spp1 increased after MI, we analyzed EGFP (enhanced green fluorescent protein)-Spp1 knockin reporter mice on day 3 after MI. RESULTS: The transcriptional activity of Spp1 increased only in CD206+ macrophages in the infarct myocardium, and most of CD206+ macrophages have strong transcriptional activation of Spp1 after MI. The temporal expression pattern of Lgal3 (encoding galectin-3) in cardiac macrophages after MI was similar to that of Spp1, and OPN is almost exclusively produced by galectin-3hiCD206+ macrophages. Although both interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-10 were reported to promote CD206+ macrophage-mediated cardiac repair after MI, IL-10- but not IL-4-stimulated CD11b+Ly6G cells could differentiate into OPN-producing galectin-3hiCD206+ macrophages and showed enhanced phagocytic ability. Inhibition of STAT3 tyrosine phosphorylation suppressed IL-10-induced expression of intracellular galectin-3 and transcriptional activation of Spp1. Knockdown of galectin-3 suppressed their ability to differentiate into OPN-producing cells, but not STAT3 activation. The tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT3 and the appearance rate of galectin-3hiCD206+ cells on cardiac CD11b+Ly6G cells in Spp1 knockout mice were the same as those in wild-type mice. Spp1 knockout mice showed vulnerability to developing post-MI left ventricular chamber dilatation and the terminal deoxynucleo-tidyltransferase 2'-Deoxyuridine-5'-triphosphate nick-end labeling (TUNEL)-positive cells in the infarcted myocardium after MI remained higher in number in Spp1 knockout mice than in wild-type mice. CONCLUSIONS: OPN is almost exclusively produced by galectin-3hiCD206+ macrophages, which specifically appear in the infarct myocardium after MI. The IL-10-STAT3-galectin-3 axis is essential for OPN-producing reparative macrophage polarization after myocardial infarction, and these macrophages contribute to tissue repair by promoting fibrosis and clearance of apoptotic cells. These results suggest that galectin-3 may contribute to reparative fibrosis in the infarct myocardium by controlling OPN levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2021-2035
Number of pages15
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Galectin-3
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Osteopontin
  • Wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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