- MARY ANN LIEBERT, INC
For hormonal deficiency caused by endocrine organ diseases, continuous oral hormone administration is indispensable to supplement the shortage of hormones. In this study, as a more effective therapy, we have tried to reconstruct the three-dimensional thyroid tissue by the cell sheet technology, a novel tissue engineering approach. The cell suspension obtained from rat thyroid gland was cultured on temperature-responsive culture dishes, from which confluent cells detach as a cell sheet simply by reducing temperature without any enzymatic treatment. The 8-week-old Lewis rats were exposed to total thyroidectomy as hypothyroidism models and received thyroid cell sheet transplantation 1 week after total thyroidectomy. Serum levels of free triiodothyronine (fT(3)) and free thyroxine (fT(4)) significantly decreased 1 week after total thyroidectomy. On the other hand, transplantation of the thyroid cell sheets was able to restore the thyroid function 1 week after the cell sheet transplantation, and improvement was maintained for 4 weeks. Moreover, morphological analyses showed typical thyroid follicle organization, and anti-thyroid-transcription-factor-1 antibody staining demonstrated the presence of follicle epithelial cells. The presence of functional microvessels was also detected within the engineered thyroid tissues. In conclusion, our results indicate that thyroid cell sheets transplanted in a model of total thyroidectomy can reorganize histologically to resemble a typical thyroid gland and restore thyroid function in vivo. In this study, we are the first to confirm that engineered thyroid tissue can repair hypothyroidism models in rats and, therefore, cell sheet transplantation of endocrine organs may be suitable for the therapy of hormonal deficiency.
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