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Validation of galectin-1 as potential diagnostic biomarker of early rheumatoid arthritis

  • Triguero-Martínez, Ana1
  • de la Fuente, Hortensia1
  • Montes, Nuria1
  • Ortiz, Ana María1
  • Roy-Vallejo, Emilia1
  • Castañeda, Santos1
  • González-Alvaro, Isidoro1
  • Lamana, Amalia2
  • 1 Hospital Universitario La Princesa, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria La Princesa (IIS-IP), Madrid, Spain , Madrid (Spain)
  • 2 Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain , Madrid (Spain)
Published Article
Scientific Reports
Springer Nature
Publication Date
Oct 20, 2020
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-74185-8
Springer Nature


Galectin 1 (Gal1) is a lectin with a wide cellular expression that functions as a negative regulator of the immune system in several animal models of autoimmune diseases. Identification of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has improved during the last decade, although there is still a need for biomarkers allowing an early diagnosis. In this regard, it has been recently proposed that Gal1 serum levels are increased in patients with RA compared to the general population. However, this topic is controversial in the literature. In this work, we provide additional information about the potential usefulness of Gal1 serum levels as a biomarker for RA diagnosis. We studied Gal1 serum and synovial fluid levels and clinical parameters in samples from 62 patients with early arthritis belonging to the PEARL study. In addition, 24 healthy donors were studied. We found that both patients fulfilling RA criteria and patients with undifferentiated arthritis showed higher Gal1 levels than healthy donors. Similar findings were observed in synovial fluid, which showed even higher levels than serum. However, we did not find correlation between Gal1 levels and disease activity or disability. Therefore, our results suggest that Gal1 could be a diagnostic but not a severity biomarker.

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