|Thyroid follicular cell|
|Function||production and secretion of thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).|
|Anatomical terms of microanatomy|
Thyroid follicular cells (also called thyroid epithelial cells or thyrocytes  ) are the major cell type in the thyroid gland, and are responsible for the production and secretion of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). They form the single layer of cuboidal epithelium that makes up the outer structure of the almost spherical thyroid follicle.
Thyroid follicular cells form a simple cuboidal epithelium and are arranged in spherical thyroid follicles surrounding a fluid filled space known as the colloid. The interior space formed by the follicular cells is known as the follicular lumen. The basolateral membrane of follicular cells contains thyrotropin receptors which bind to thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) found circulating in the blood.
Calcitonin-producing parafollicular cells are also found along the basement membrane of the thyroid follicle, interspersed between follicular cells; and in spaces between the spherical follicles. Parafollicular cells can be distinguished from follicular cells based on their lighter staining cytoplasm using H&E.
Their embryologic origin is from a median endodermal mass in the region of the tongue (foramen cecum) in contrast to parafollicular cells which arise from the 4th pharyngeal pouch.
Follicular cells take up iodide and amino acids from the blood circulation on the basolateral side, synthesize thyroglobulin and thyroperoxidase from amino acids and secrete these into the thyroid follicles together with iodide. The follicular cells subsequently take up iodinated thyroglobulin from the follicles by endocytosis, extract thyroid hormones from it with the help of proteases and subsequently release thyroid hormones into the blood.
These thyroid hormones are transported throughout the body where they control metabolism (which is the conversion of oxygen and carbohydrates to energy). Every cell in the body depends upon thyroid hormones for regulation of their metabolism. The normal thyroid gland produces about 80% T4 and about 20% T3, however, T3 is about four times as potent as T4.
The transport of iodide into follicular cells is vital for the synthesis of the iodine containing thyroid hormones. Iodide is actively transported at the basolateral membrane of follicular cells by the sodium-iodide symporter.  At the apical membrane iodide is secreted into the colloid by the chloride/iodide transporter pendrin.
The thyroid, or thyroid gland, is an endocrine gland in vertebrates. In humans it is in the neck and consists of two connected lobes. The lower two thirds of the lobes are connected by a thin band of tissue called the thyroid isthmus. The thyroid is located at the front of the neck, below the Adam's apple. Microscopically, the functional unit of the thyroid gland is the spherical thyroid follicle, lined with follicular cells (thyrocytes), and occasional parafollicular cells that surround a lumen containing colloid. The thyroid gland secretes three hormones: the two thyroid hormones – triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) – and a peptide hormone, calcitonin. The thyroid hormones influence the metabolic rate and protein synthesis, and in children, growth and development. Calcitonin plays a role in calcium homeostasis. Secretion of the two thyroid hormones is regulated by thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which is secreted from the anterior pituitary gland. TSH is regulated by thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), which is produced by the hypothalamus.
Thyroid neoplasm is a neoplasm or tumor of the thyroid. It can be a benign tumor such as thyroid adenoma, or it can be a malignant neoplasm, such as papillary, follicular, medullary or anaplastic thyroid cancer. Most patients are 25 to 65 years of age when first diagnosed; women are more affected than men. The estimated number of new cases of thyroid cancer in the United States in 2010 is 44,670 compared to only 1,690 deaths. Of all thyroid nodules discovered, only about 5 percent are cancerous, and under 3 percent of those result in fatalities.
Epithelium is one of the four basic types of animal tissue, along with connective tissue, muscle tissue and nervous tissue. It is a thin, continuous, protective layer of compactly packed cells with little intercellular matrix. Epithelial tissues line the outer surfaces of organs and blood vessels throughout the body, as well as the inner surfaces of cavities in many internal organs. An example is the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin.
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (also known as thyrotropin, thyrotropic hormone, or abbreviated TSH) is a pituitary hormone that stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroxine (T4), and then triiodothyronine (T3) which stimulates the metabolism of almost every tissue in the body. It is a glycoprotein hormone produced by thyrotrope cells in the anterior pituitary gland, which regulates the endocrine function of the thyroid.
Triiodothyronine, also known as T3, is a thyroid hormone. It affects almost every physiological process in the body, including growth and development, metabolism, body temperature, and heart rate.
Thyroglobulin (Tg) is a 660 kDa, dimeric glycoprotein produced by the follicular cells of the thyroid and used entirely within the thyroid gland. Tg is secreted and accumulated at hundreds of grams per litre in the extracellular compartment of the thyroid follicles, accounting for approximately half of the protein content of the thyroid gland. Human TG (hTG) is a homodimer of subunits each containing 2768 amino acids as synthesized.
The distal convoluted tubule (DCT) is a portion of kidney nephron between the loop of Henle and the collecting tubule.
Parafollicular cells, also called C cells, are neuroendocrine cells in the thyroid. The primary function of these cells is to secrete calcitonin. They are located adjacent to the thyroid follicles and reside in the connective tissue. These cells are large and have a pale stain compared with the follicular cells. In teleost and avian species these cells occupy a structure outside the thyroid gland named the ultimobranchial body.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis and Hashimoto's disease, is an autoimmune disease in which the thyroid gland is gradually destroyed. Early on, symptoms may not be noticed. Over time, the thyroid may enlarge, forming a painless goiter. Some people eventually develop hypothyroidism with accompanying weight gain, fatigue, constipation, depression, hair loss, and general pains. After many years the thyroid typically shrinks in size. Potential complications include thyroid lymphoma. Furthermore, because it is common for untreated patients of Hashimoto's to develop hypothyroidism, further complications can include, but are not limited to, high cholesterol, heart disease, heart failure, high blood pressure, myxedema, and potential pregnancy problems.
Cotransporters are a subcategory of membrane transport proteins (transporters) that couple the favorable movement of one molecule with its concentration gradient and unfavorable movement of another molecule against its concentration gradient. They enable cotransport and include antiporters and symporters. In general, cotransporters consist of two out of the three classes of integral membrane proteins known as transporters that move molecules and ions across biomembranes. Uniporters are also transporters but move only one type of molecule down its concentration gradient and are not classified as cotransporters.
Endocrine glands are ductless glands of the endocrine system that secrete their products, hormones, directly into the blood. The major glands of the endocrine system include the pineal gland, pituitary gland, pancreas, ovaries, testes, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, hypothalamus and adrenal glands. The hypothalamus and pituitary glands are neuroendocrine organs.
The Wolff–Chaikoff effect is a presumed reduction in thyroid hormone levels caused by ingestion of a large amount of iodine.
Thyroid peroxidase, also called thyroperoxidase (TPO) or iodide peroxidase, is an enzyme expressed mainly in the thyroid where it is secreted into colloid. Thyroid peroxidase oxidizes iodide ions to form iodine atoms for addition onto tyrosine residues on thyroglobulin for the production of thyroxine (T4) or triiodothyronine (T3), the thyroid hormones. In humans, thyroperoxidase is encoded by the TPO gene.
Simple cuboidal epithelium is a type of epithelium that consists of a single layer of cuboidal (cube-like) cells which have large, spherical and central nuclei.
The gastric mucosa is the mucous membrane layer of the stomach, which contains the glands and the gastric pits. In humans, it is about 1 mm thick, and its surface is smooth, soft, and velvety. It consists of simple columnar epithelium, lamina propria, and the muscularis mucosae.
The sodium/iodide cotransporter, also known as the sodium/iodide symporter (NIS), is a protein that in humans is encoded by the SLC5A5 gene. It is a transmembrane glycoprotein with a molecular weight of 87 kDa and 13 transmembrane domains, which transports two sodium cations (Na+) for each iodide anion (I−) into the cell. NIS mediated uptake of iodide into follicular cells of the thyroid gland is the first step in the synthesis of thyroid hormone.
A thyroid adenoma is a benign tumor of the thyroid gland, that may be inactive or active as a toxic adenoma.
Thyroid hormones are two hormones produced and released by the thyroid gland, namely triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). They are tyrosine-based hormones that are primarily responsible for regulation of metabolism. T3 and T4 are partially composed of iodine. A deficiency of iodine leads to decreased production of T3 and T4, enlarges the thyroid tissue and will cause the disease known as simple goitre.
Iodotyrosine deiodinase, also known as iodotyrosine dehalogenase 1, is a type of deiodinase enzyme that scavenges iodide by removing it from iodinated tyrosine residues in the thyroid gland. These iodinated tyrosines are produced during thyroid hormone biosynthesis. The iodide that is scavenged by iodotyrosine deiodinase is necessary to again synthesize the thyroid hormones. After synthesis, the thyroid hormones circulate through the body to regulate metabolic rate, protein expression, and body temperature. Iodotyrosine deiodinase is thus necessary to keep levels of both iodide and thyroid hormones in balance.
The follicular lumen is the fluid-filled space within a follicle of the thyroid gland. There are hundreds of follicles within the thyroid gland. A follicle is formed by a spherical arrangement of follicular cells. The follicular lumen is filled with colloid, a concentrated solution of thyroglobulin and is the site of synthesis of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).