Follicular cells of the thyroid gland require Pax8 gene function

Nat Genet. 1998 May;19(1):87-90. doi: 10.1038/ng0598-87.


The thyroid gland develops from two distinct embryonic lineages: follicular cells (which produce thyroxine) and parafollicular C-cells (which produce calcitonin) are of endodermal and neural crest origin, respectively. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms governing the generation of these different cell types. Mice lacking the transcription factor Ttf1 lack both cell types and thus are unable to develop a thyroid gland. By analysis of Pax8-/- mice, we demonstrate that Pax8 is required for the formation of the follicular cells in the thyroid. We present evidence that Pax8 is necessary for providing cues for the differentiation of competent endoderm primordia into thyroxin-producing follicular cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcitonin / biosynthesis
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • PAX8 Transcription Factor
  • Paired Box Transcription Factors
  • Thyroid Gland / cytology
  • Thyroid Gland / embryology
  • Thyroid Gland / metabolism*
  • Thyroid Nuclear Factor 1
  • Trans-Activators / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Nkx2-1 protein, mouse
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • PAX8 Transcription Factor
  • Paired Box Transcription Factors
  • Pax8 protein, mouse
  • Thyroid Nuclear Factor 1
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • Calcitonin