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Endocrinology. 1986 Mar;118(3):1040-6.

Location of epidermal growth factor receptors on porcine thyroid follicle cells and receptor regulation by thyrotropin.


By using a direct electron microscopic autoradiographical technique, we were able to demonstrate that the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor is asymmetrically located on polarized porcine thyroid follicle cells cultured on a collagen gel matrix. More than 80% of autoradiographical grains from [125I]EGF were associated with the basolateral cell surface compared to only about 2.5% at the apical cell margin. EGF stimulated growth only when the collagen gels were floating, indicating a basolateral location of functional EGF receptors. Preincubation with TSH or another stimulator of cAMP synthesis, forskolin, increased binding of [125I]EGF to the cells. Moreover, the subsequent mitogenic response to EGF was potentiated by such pretreatment. The results are in accordance with the hypothesis that TSH potentiates the response to EGF in the stimulation of thyroid growth.

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