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On the Origin of Cells and Derivation of Thyroid Cancer: C Cell Story Revisited

Journal article
Authors D. Williams
Mikael Nilsson
Published in European Thyroid Journal
Volume 5
Issue 2
Pages 79-93
ISSN 2235-0640
Publication year 2016
Published at Sahlgrenska Cancer Center
Institute of Biomedicine
Pages 79-93
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1159/000447333
Keywords Endoderm, Mixed medullary-follicular carcinoma, Neural crest, Neuroendocrine tumours, Thyroid C, NEURAL CREST ORIGIN, ENDOCRINE NEOPLASIA TYPE-2, CALCITONIN-PRODUCING, CELLS, UNILATERAL RENAL AGENESIS, OF-THE-LITERATURE, MIXED MEDULLARY, RET PROTOONCOGENE, ULTIMOBRANCHIAL GLANDS, FOLLICULAR CARCINOMA, TRANSGENIC MICE
Subject categories Cell and Molecular Biology, Tumour immunology

Abstract

We will highlight and put into perspective new lineage tracing data from genetic studies in mice indicating that the genuine progenitors to C cells arise in the endoderm germ layer. This overturns the current concept of a neural crest origin of thyroid C cells referred to in every textbook and dedicated paper to this very day. As will become apparent, except for a single experiment, the neural crest theory has little or no support when the evolution and development of calcitonin-producing cells in the entire chordate family are considered. Instead, a unifying origin of all cells of the ultimobranchial bodies reopens questions on the histogenesis of certain thyroid pathologies previously difficult to explain. On this aspect, medullary thyroid cancer shows a stronger connection to gut neuroendocrine tumours than previously recognized. It is envisaged that novel factors implicated in C cell-derived tumour growth and progression will be discovered as the mechanisms that regulate lineage expansion of embryonic C cell precursors from pharyngeal endoderm are uncovered. We will not discuss why C cells go to the bother of burying themselves in the thyroid - this remains a mystery. (C) 2016 European Thyroid Association Published by S. Karger AG, Basel

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