Researchers generate thyroid tissue using mice stem cells
(Medical Xpress)—Researchers in Brussels, with assistance from U.S. colleagues, have succeeded in generating thyroid tissue using mice embryonic stem cells. A procedure involving grafting new tissue onto a disabled thyroid resulted in restored function for nine out of ten study mice, the team reports in their paper published in the journal Nature.
The thyroid is an endocrine gland found in the neck. It functions to control how quickly the body uses energy, and to produce certain proteins. It also has a role in regulating the responsiveness of other hormones. It does its job by producing thyroid hormones—if the thyroid is damaged or grows abnormally, a condition known as hypothyroidism results. This condition causes reduced production of the hormones that allow for normal body growth and mental development.
To cure the condition, researchers have turned to organ regeneration, a process where stem cells are manipulated into growing new organ cells. The process of thyroid regeneration is complicated by the requirement that cells grow in a physically-optimal shape. Such a shape has spherical follicles that trap iodide and hold it until a concentration threshold is reached.
To address this challenge, the researchers took stem cells from mice embryos and genetically altered them to express the two proteins NKX2-1 and PAX8, which are normally only expressed together in the thyroid. To cause the follicles to develop, they exposed the cells to the hormone thyrotropin in a petri dish, which resulted in the cells developing into three dimensional structures with follicles similar to those found in a healthy thyroid.
Because of the promising results found in the first stage of their work, the researchers grafted newly grown tissue into mice that had been caused to have hypothyroidism, and found that nine out of ten experienced full recoveries.
More work will have to be done in this area to determine any undesirable side effects before human test trials can be conducted. However, at this stage, the researchers report that the procedure looks very promising, offering hope to those who have lost function due to infections, drug use, or radiation treatments.
More information: Generation of functional thyroid from embryonic stem cells, Nature (2012) doi:10.1038/nature11525
Author information Supplementary information
The primary function of the thyroid gland is to metabolize iodide by synthesizing thyroid hormones, which are critical regulators of growth, development and metabolism in almost all tissues. So far, research on thyroid morphogenesis has been missing an efficient stem-cell model system that allows for the in vitro recapitulation of the molecular and morphogenic events regulating thyroid follicular-cell differentiation and subsequent assembly into functional thyroid follicles. Here we report that a transient overexpression of the transcription factors NKX2-1 and PAX8 is sufficient to direct mouse embryonic stem-cell differentiation into thyroid follicular cells that organize into three-dimensional follicular structures when treated with thyrotropin. These in vitro-derived follicles showed appreciable iodide organification activity. Importantly, when grafted in vivo into athyroid mice, these follicles rescued thyroid hormone plasma levels and promoted subsequent symptomatic recovery. Thus, mouse embryonic stem cells can be induced to differentiate into thyroid follicular cells in vitro and generate functional thyroid tissue.
Journal reference: Nature
© 2012 Phys.org
- Researchers grow pituitary glands from embryonic stem cells Nov 10, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Pediatric obesity may alter thyroid function and structure Dec 03, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Role of thyroid hormones in slumber under investigation Aug 08, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Concern over inappropriate diagnosis and treatment of thyroid problems Mar 27, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Mild thyroid dysfunction in early pregnancy linked to serious complications Jun 23, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
Marie Curie's leukemia
May 13, 2013 Does anyone know what might be the cause of Marie Curie's cancer
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
In their quest to learn more about the variability of cells between and within tissues, biomedical scientists have devised tools capable of simultaneously measuring dozens of characteristics of individual ...
Medical research 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0 |
In 2008 researchers from the University of Southern Denmark showed that the drug thioridazine, which has previously been used to treat schizophrenia, is also a powerful weapon against antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as ...
Medical research May 17, 2013 | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Scientists investigating the interaction of a group of proteins in the brain responsible for protecting nerve cells from damage have identified a new target that could increase cell survival.
Medical research May 17, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
New findings by researchers carrying out experiments at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science's Advanced Photon Source (APS) help explain why some drugs that interact with two kinds of human serotonin ...
Medical research May 17, 2013 | 4 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin have identified a potential new risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea: asthma. Using data from the National Institutes of Health (Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)-funded Wisconsin ...
10 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
A new study looking at sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and markers for Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and neuroimaging adds to the growing body of research linking the two.
20 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Gourmands and foodies everywhere have long recognized ginger as a great way to add a little peppery zing to both sweet and savory dishes; now, a study from researchers at Columbia University shows purified components of the ...
10 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have turned their view of osteoarthritis (OA) inside out. Literally. Instead of seeing the painful degenerative disease as a problem primarily of the cartilage that cushions joints, ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0 |
The hunt for an HIV vaccine has gobbled up $8 billion in the past decade, and the failure of the most recent efficacy trial has delivered yet another setback to 26 years of efforts.
5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The devastating effect of Alzheimer's disease on bilingual people has been thrown into focus in Canada, where the sudden loss of a second language can leave sufferers feeling like strangers in their own country.
3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0