Galectins play important roles in immunoinflammatory responses, but their participation in the development of periapical lesions remains unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the expressions of galectins-1, -3, and -7 in periapical lesions, correlating them with the intensity of the inflammatory infiltrate and the pattern of the cystic epithelium.Methods:
Twenty periapical granulomas (PGs), 20 radicular cysts (RCs), and 20 residual radicular cysts (RRCs) were submitted to immunohistochemistry using anti–galectin-1, -3, and -7 antibodies. The percentage of immunopositive cells in epithelial and connective tissues was determined.Results:
In connective tissue, PGs exhibited higher cytoplasmic/membrane expression of galectins-1 and -7 than RCs and RRCs (P < .05). There was higher nuclear expression of galectin-1 in PGs compared with RCs and RRCs (P < .05). The expression of galectins-1 and -7 in connective tissue was higher in lesions with grade III inflammation (P < .05). No significant differences in galectin-3 immunoexpression were observed for any of the parameters evaluated (P > .05). In the epithelial component, a higher nuclear expression of galectin-7 was detected in RRCs (P < .05), and a higher cytoplasmic/membrane expression of this protein was found in cysts with hyperplastic epithelium (P < .05). Positive correlations were observed between the nuclear and cytoplasmic/membrane expression of galectin-1 in connective tissue (P < .05) as well as between the nuclear and cytoplasmic/membrane expression of galectin-7 in epithelial tissue of cysts (P < .05).Conclusions:
Galectins-1 and -7 may play important roles in the pathogenesis of PGs, RCs, and RRCs. On the other hand, the present results suggest only a minor involvement of galectin-3 in the development of these lesions.