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Cell Tissue Res. 1979;204(3):417-30.

Polarity of three-dimensional structures derived from isolated hog thyroid cells in primary culture.


When cultured in polystyrene dishes subjected to previous treatment and supplied with a serum-containing medium, hog thyroid cells form monolayers displaying dome-like arrangements after three to four days. Cells involved in formation of "domes" are morphologically polarized; the apical microvilli of these cells point toward the culture medium. When the tissue is cultured in untreated polystyrene dishes, thyroid cells remain in suspension; their aggregates swell progressively and form hollow spheres encompassed by a single layer of cells. The polarity of the cells forming such spheres is inverse in comparison to the condition characteristic of the intact thyroid gland. When culture medium is supplemented with TSH, PGE1, PGE2 or dBC, structures resembling true follicles are formed in both types of cultures. Gelatin, added to suspension cultures, is also capable of promoting follicle formation. Cultured thyroid cells regularly form an epithelial layer as a result of the interaction of cellular processes. However, the polarization of this layer depends on culture conditions. Thus, structures with either a normal follicle-like polarization of their cells or showing an inverted type of polarization can be obtained.

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