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Multiple sclerosis (MS) frequently starts near the lateral ventricles, which are lined by subventricular zone (SVZ) progenitor cells that can migrate to lesions and contribute to repair. Because MS-induced inflammation may decrease SVZ proliferation and thus limit repair, we studied the role of galectin-3 (Gal-3), a proinflammatory protein. Gal-3 expression was increased in periventricular regions of human MS in post-mortem brain samples and was also upregulated in periventricular regions in a murine MS model, Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) infection. Whereas TMEV increased SVZ chemokine (CCL2, CCL5, CCL, and CXCL10) expression in wild type (WT) mice, this was inhibited in Gal-3(-/-) mice. Though numerous CD45+ immune cells entered the SVZ of WT mice after TMEV infection, their numbers were significantly diminished in Gal-3(-/-) mice. TMEV also reduced neuroblast and proliferative SVZ cell numbers in WT mice but this was restored in Gal-3(-/-) mice and was correlated with increased numbers of doublecortin+ neuroblasts in the corpus callosum. In summary, our data showed that loss of Gal-3 blocked chemokine increases after TMEV, reduced immune cell migration into the SVZ, reestablished SVZ proliferation and increased the number of progenitors in the corpus callosum. These results suggest Gal-3 plays a central role in modulating the SVZ neurogenic niche's response to this model of MS.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





105 - 121


galectin-3, multiple sclerosis, subventricular zone