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Development of the thyroid gland

Review article
Authors Mikael Nilsson
Henrik Fagman
Published in Development
Volume 144
Issue 12
Pages 2123-2140
ISSN 0950-1991
Publication year 2017
Published at Sahlgrenska Cancer Center
Institute of Biomedicine
Pages 2123-2140
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1242/dev.145615
https://gup.ub.gu.se/file/207007
Keywords Thyroid, Endoderm, Pharyngeal, Neural crest, Evolution, Morphogenesis, EMBRYONIC STEM-CELLS, TRANSCRIPTIONAL REPRESSOR DREAM, CIONA-INTESTINALIS L, NEURAL CREST CELLS, GENE-EXPRESSION, CONGENITAL, HYPOTHYROIDISM, FOLLICULAR CELLS, IODINE BINDING, C-CELLS, CARDIOVASCULAR DEVELOPMENT
Subject categories Cell and Molecular Biology

Abstract

Thyroid hormones are crucial for organismal development and homeostasis. In humans, untreated congenital hypothyroidism due to thyroid agenesis inevitably leads to cretinism, which comprises irreversible brain dysfunction and dwarfism. Elucidating how the thyroid gland - the only source of thyroid hormones in the body - develops is thus key for understanding and treating thyroid dysgenesis, and for generating thyroid cells in vitro that might be used for cell-based therapies. Here, we review the principal mechanisms involved in thyroid organogenesis and functional differentiation, highlighting how the thyroid forerunner evolved from the endostyle in protochordates to the endocrine gland found in vertebrates. New findings on the specification and fate decisions of thyroid progenitors, and the morphogenesis of precursor cells into hormone-producing follicular units, are also discussed.

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