Table of Contents
ISRN Endocrinology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 275782, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2011/275782
Review Article

Culture Models for Studying Thyroid Biology and Disorders

1Department of Pathology & Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Saga University, Nabeshima 5-1-1, Saga 849-8501, Japan
2Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Saga University, Nabeshima 5-1-1, Saga 849-8501, Japan
3University Hospital Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Saga University, Nabeshima 5-1-1, Saga 849-8501, Japan
4Department of Surgery, Koike Hospital, Saga 840-0862, Japan
5School of Rehabilitation Science, International University of Health and Welfare, Fukuoka 831-8501, Japan

Received 16 April 2011; Accepted 15 May 2011

Academic Editors: E. Hajduch and D. Villa-Verde

Copyright © 2011 Shuji Toda et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The thyroid is composed of thyroid follicles supported by extracellular matrix, capillary network, and stromal cell types such as fibroblasts. The follicles consist of thyrocytes and C cells. In this microenvironment, thyrocytes are highly integrated in their specific structural and functional polarization, but monolayer and floating cultures cannot allow thyrocytes to organize the follicles with such polarity. In contrast, three-dimensional (3-D) collagen gel culture enables thyrocytes to form 3-D follicles with normal polarity. However, these systems never reconstruct the follicles consisting of both thyrocytes and C cells. Thyroid tissue-organotypic culture retains 3-D follicles with both thyrocytes and C cells. To create more appropriate experimental models, we here characterize four culture systems above and then introduce the models for studying thyroid biology and disorders. Finally, we propose a new approach to the cell type-specific culture systems on the basis of in vivo microenvironments of various cell types.