Thyrotropin (TSH) and transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFbeta1) have major roles in the regulation of folliculogenesis and differentiation in thyroid cells. Isolated porcine thyroid cells cultured in the presence of TSH on a plastic surface recover a follicular architecture and exhibit normal functional properties. The addition of TGFbeta1 to the culture medium induces important morphological changes and extracellular matrix remodelling. Similarly, thyroid cells lose their ability to organify iodine and their responsiveness to adenylate cyclase. The aim of this study was to analyse the influence of TGFbeta1 on the functional activity of thyrocytes in suspension culture, independent of follicle disruption. In this system, we demonstrate that TGFbeta1 inhibits expression of thyroperoxidase, NADPH oxidase activity, iodine uptake and, consequently, iodine organification. Moreover, TGFbeta1 decreases basal and TSH-stimulated cAMP production and TSH receptor expression. Taken together, these data converge to demonstrate an essential role of TGFbeta1 in the regulation of the thyroid cell function.
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