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Endocrinology. 1998 Oct;139(10):4416-9.

An immunohistochemical study of Na+/I- symporter in human thyroid tissues and salivary gland tissues.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, and Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus 43210, USA.


The human Na+/I- symporter (hNIS) is the plasma membrane protein that mediates active iodide uptake into several tissues, such as the thyroid and salivary glands. To study the distribution and cellular localization of the hNIS protein, we have generated a polyclonal antibody that could detect the hNIS protein by immunohistochemical staining on tissue sections. In normal thyroids, hNIS expression is heterogeneous, and it is only detected in sporadic thyrocytes of a given follicle. The hNIS protein was not detected in thyroid carcinomas, yet it was detected in the majority of thyrocytes in Graves' thyroids. In salivary glands, hNIS protein was not detected in acinar cells, but it was detected in ductal cells. The hNIS proteins are clustered in the basal and lateral membranes in cells stained positive for hNIS.

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