PMID: 7087401Jul 1, 1982Paper

Shedding of dense cell fragments into the follicular lumen early in involution of the hyperplastic thyroid gland

Laboratory Investigation; a Journal of Technical Methods and Pathology
O Tachiwaki, S H Wollman


Membrane-bounded fragments of thyroid epithelial cells are found in the lumen of the thyroid follicle at early stages of involution of the hyperplastic gland. To demonstrate this, thyroid glands were made hyperplastic by feeding rats a low iodine diet containing thiouracil for 3 weeks. Involution was induced by the feeding of a high iodine diet. Three types of dense cell fragments were observed in the lumen at its periphery within 5 hours after the change of diet: (1) single, relatively large fragments that contained vesicles occasionally, (2) a cluster of rounded fragments of relatively small size. Some of these had a narrow tail, and (3) elongated narrow fragments in a row parallel to the apical surface of one or more epithelial cells. The fragments are probably derived from the thyroid epithelial cells since no other cell types were generally present. By 14 hours the fragments were distributed randomly throughout the lumen. Fragments were no longer present by 12 days of involution in most follicles. Fragment formation may be a mechanism for disposal of excess plasma membrane deposited by exocytic vesicles during rapid secretion of thyroglobulin into the follicular lumen early in involution.

Related Concepts

Plasma Membrane
Thyroid Gland

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