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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2017, Article ID 8102170, 5 pages
Research Article

Mouse Thyroid Gland Changes in Aging: Implication of Galectin-3 and Sphingomyelinase

1Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy
2Division of Anatomic Pathology and Histology, Department of Experimental Medicine, School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy
3Department of Medica Area, University of Udine, P.le M. Kolbe 4, 33100 Udine, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Elisabetta Albi; ti.gpinu@ibla.attebasile

Received 29 August 2017; Accepted 12 November 2017; Published 11 December 2017

Academic Editor: Fabiola Olivieri

Copyright © 2017 Giovanna Traina 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.


Prevalence of thyroid dysfunction and its impact on cognition in older people has been demonstrated, but many points remain unclarified. In order to study the effect of aging on the thyroid gland, we compared the thyroid gland of very old mice with that of younger ones. We have first investigated the changes of thyroid microstructure and the possibility that molecules involved in thyroid function might be associated with structural changes. Results from this study indicate changes in the height of the thyrocytes and in the amplitude of interfollicular spaces, anomalous expression/localization of thyrotropin, thyrotropin receptor, and thyroglobulin aging. Thyrotropin and thyrotropin receptor are upregulated and are distributed inside the colloid while thyroglobulin fills the interfollicular spaces. In an approach aimed at defining the behavior of molecules that change in different physiopathological conditions of thyroid, such as galectin-3 and sphingomyelinase, we then wondered what was their behavior in the thyroid gland in aging. Importantly, in comparison with the thyroid of young animals, we have found a higher expression of galectin-3 and a delocalization of neutral sphingomyelinase in the thyroid of old animals. A possible relationship between galectin-3, neutral sphingomyelinase, and aging has been discussed.