Morphological study of long-term culture of closed isolated pig folicles

M. Herrera, A. Ondo-Mendez, E. Bernal, C. Spinel

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The morphological and functional unit of the thyroid gland is the follicle - an ovoid closed-structure, constituted by a layer of cubical cells (thyrocytes) that lock up a full lumen of the colloid secreted by themselves. In culture, the structures as well as the function of the follicles are lost rapidly in the first 24 hours. However, if the rat thyroid follicles closed are seeded since the beginning of the culture, these conserve the follicular structure, the thyrocyte morphology and the function even as the thyroid hormone synthesis in a similar way to the gland in vivo. This work describes the isolation and the culture of closed swine thyroid follicles and its morphological analysis. The follicles are isolated by enzymatic and mechanic digestion of the thyroid, then they are cultured in agarose with and without thyrotropin (1 mU/ml, TSH). The swine thyroid tissue obtained has the same characteristics of an in vivo hypothyroid gland, an almost flat epithelium, low quantity of Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum (RER) and Golgi complex (GC), short and very scarce microvillus. The isolated and closed follicles cultivated without TSH preserve the ovoid form and the colloid in the lumen, and the same ultrastructure of the thyroid tissue in vivo, RER and GC, but the length of the microvillus as well as the thickness of the epithelium were increased with the culture time. In the presence of TSH the thickness of the epithelium increases from the first day and the follicular cavities reduce considerably. The isolated and closed follicles preserve their morphology in the long term (8 days) of culture with and without the TSH. Besides, they responded to the stimulus of the TSH reducing the follicular cavity.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-60
Number of pages12
JournalActa Biologica Colombiana
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 10 2008
Externally publishedYes


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