Detection and partial purification of a potent mitogenic factor for human thyroid follicular cells

Mol Cell Endocrinol. 1992 Mar;84(1-2):R15-21. doi: 10.1016/0303-7207(92)90086-l.


Normal adult human thyroid follicular cells have an extremely limited proliferative capacity in vitro. No previously studied mitogen, including thyrotropin (TSH) or epidermal growth factor (EGF), has in our hands resulted in a significant improvement over the 3-4% nuclear [3H]thymidine pulse-labelling index (LI) obtainable with 10% fetal calf serum. Here we report the detection in the conditioned medium from a sub-clone of NIH3T3 fibroblasts of a mitogenic activity capable of increasing this response up to 10-fold, to an LI of over 20%, together with an even greater relative stimulation of mitotic activity. Preliminary characterisation has excluded EGF and TGF alpha, and demonstrated that the activity is bound reversibly by heparin-Sepharose, thus pointing to a member of the heparin-binding fibroblast- or hepatocyte-growth factor families. This material should have wide practical application in facilitating primary culture of follicular cells, and may reveal new mechanisms of stromal-epithelial interaction regulating normal and neoplastic thyroid growth in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Extracts / pharmacology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromatography, Affinity
  • Epithelium / physiology*
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mitogens / metabolism*
  • Mitomycin
  • Thyroid Gland / physiology*


  • Cell Extracts
  • Mitogens
  • Mitomycin