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Pleiotropic effects of thyroid stimulating hormone in a differentiated thyroid cancer cell line. Studies on proliferation, thyroglobulin secretion, adhesion, migration and invasion.

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Department of Surgery, Philipps-University of Marburg, Germany.


Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) causes differentiation and epidermal growth factor (EGF) causes dedifferentiation of thyroid cells in vitro. In undifferentiated thyroid cancer cell lines, TSH stimulates tumor cell migration and invasion, a dedifferentiated function, presumably due to an escape of tumor cells from the control of differentiating growth factors. In a highly differentiated thyroid carcinoma cell line of Hürthle cell origin (XTC), we tested the hypothesis that TSH would stimulate thyroglobulin secretion (a differentiated function) more than EGF, and EGF would stimulate invasion (a de-differentiated function) more than TSH. Proliferation, adhesion, cell migration and invasion were measured by the MTT assay, human thyroglobulin by RIA and protease activity by substrate-gel zymography. TSH induced differentiated morphologic changes in XTC cells and stimulated secretion of human thyroglobulin in a dose dependent manner, whereas EGF did not. The effects of TSH on growth, adhesion, migration and invasion were dose dependent and biphasic, with an increase at low and a decrease at high concentrations of TSH. These effects were always more pronounced than those observed with EGE Gelatinolytic activity, consistent with metalloproteinase activity was revealed by zymography, but the pattern of secretion was not altered by neither TSH nor EGF. These results suggest, that TSH has pleiotropic effects on differentiated thyroid cancer cells in vitro that involve differentiated morphology and function but also affect features commonly associated with the malignant in vitro phenotype.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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