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Fetal-Maternal Immune Interactions in Pregnancy

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Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.01166

Pregnancy Galectinology: Insights into a Complex Network of Glycan Binding Proteins

  • 1Charité Medical University of Berlin, Germany
  • 2Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, United States
  • 3Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, United States
  • 4Charité Medical University of Berlin, Germany
  • 5Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Clinical Chemistry and Pathobiochemistry, Charité Medical University of Berlin, Germany
  • 6Hospital Alemán, Argentina

Galectins are a phylogenetically conserved family of soluble β-galactoside binding proteins, consisting of 15 different types, each with a specific function. Galectins contribute to placentation by regulating trophoblast development, migration and invasion - during early pregnancy. In addition, galectins are critical players regulating maternal immune tolerance to the embedded embryo. Recently, the role of galectins in angiogenesis during decidualisation and in placenta formation has gained attention. Altered expression of galectins is associated with abnormal pregnancies and infertility. This review focuses on the role of galectins in pregnancy-associated processes and discusses the relevance of galectin-glycan interactions as potential therapeutic targets in pregnancy disorders.

Keywords: Galectins, Pregnancy, Placentation, Glycans, Preeclampsia

Received: 17 Feb 2019; Accepted: 08 May 2019.

Edited by:

Simona W. Rossi, Universität Basel, Switzerland

Reviewed by:

Michael J. Soares, University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute, United States
Andrea Balogh, Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary
Udo Jeschke, Medizinischen Fakultät, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany  

Copyright: © 2019 Blois, Dveksler, Vasta, Freitag, Blanchard and Barrientos. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Sandra M. Blois, Charité Medical University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany,