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Adv Clin Path. 1997 Jul;1(3):191-197.

In vitro cultures of pathological thyroid cells: a powerful diagnostic technique.

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Dipartimento Patologia e Medicina Sperimentale e Clinica, University of Udine, Udine, 33100, Italy.


In order to get a correct predictivity from molecular and functional markers in neoplastic disease, cell cultures, correspondent to in vivo existing populations, should be available. The difficulty, as yet, to correlate in vivo conditions with in vitro molecular and functional markers, represents a hurdle for a better prognosis in several neoplastic diseases. We tackled the problem establishing cultures from surgical samples of human thyroid glands bearing various pathologies (pathological diagnosis were obtained for all samples). Cells were frozen after 2 passages, and molecular markers (thyroglobulin, TPO, TTF-1 and PAX-8) and functional parameters (TSH-dependent cAMP production and thymidine incorporation) were investigated after thawing. The "in vitro profile" (functional parameters and molecular markers) was found to correlate with the pathological diagnosis and the degree of differentiation of the starting specimens. The data presented suggest that our culture technique allows in vitro growth of cell populations that may be used to perform functional assays and may make the molecular characterization of pathological samples easier. These findings could be especially useful to better define prognosis and also help to develop innovative therapies.


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