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C. Massart, C. Le Tellier, C. Lucas, J. Gibassier, G. Leclech, and M. Nicol


Cis-diamminedichloroplatinum (II) (cisplatin) is a widely used anticancer drug which induces many sideeffects, but its action on the thyroid gland is still unknown. We have investigated the effects of this drug on human thyrocytes cultured in monolayers or in follicles and stimulated with 200 μU TSH/ml.

After 72h in culture, different concentrations of cisplatin (15, 30 and 75 μm) caused partial or total inhibition of cyclic AMP (cAMP), thyroglobulin (Tg) and tri-iodothyronine (T3) production, whereas thyroxine levels increased in the medium of thyrocytes cultured as follicles. Small doses of the drug did not affect thyrocyte production. Decreases in neutral-red uptake by thyroid cells and in intracellular lactate dehydrogenase, α-hydroxybutyryldehydrogenase and creatine phosphokinase activities were induced by 30 and 75 μm cisplatin.

These data show that high concentrations of cisplatin had a cytotoxic effect on thyrocytes. Cisplatin also induced inhibition of the production of cAMP, Tg and T3.

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C Massart, J Gibassier, N Genetet, M L Raoul, M Baron, F Le Gall, and C Lucas


We studied the lymphocyte-induced alterations in hormonal metabolism and the production of tumour necrosis factor α (TNF-α) during coculture of thyrocytes and autologous lymphocytes from 20 patients with Graves' disease and from five normal subjects. Thyroglobulin (Tg) mRNA was assessed by slot-blot analysis under TSH stimulation. Tg, tri-iodothyronine (T3) and cAMP secretion in the presence of TSH were measured by RIA after 3 or 5 days of coculture. TNF-α levels produced after 5 days incubation were also assayed in lymphocyte culture and coculture media.

Lymphocytes isolated from peripheral blood (PBLs) altered the production of Tg, T3 and cAMP in autologous thyrocytes. Intrathyroidal lymphocytes (ITLs) decreased Tg and cAMP secretion but had no effect on T3 secretion. The reductions in Tg and cAMP levels obtained with mechanically isolated ITLs (M-ITLs) were generally higher than those obtained with ITLs isolated by dispase (D-ITLs). No difference was seen between Graves' disease and normal cocultures. PBLs secreted large concentrations of TNF-α, larger than those obtained with M-ITLs whereas D-ITLs produced low amounts of this cytokine. In coculture, TNF-α levels were lower than those observed in lymphocyte culture. Significant correlations were obtained between TNF-α levels and the decrease in Tg, T3 and cAMP concentrations. The percentage of T lymphocytes was higher in PBLs and D-ITLs than in M-ITLs. B lymphocytes levels were higher in ITLs, especially M-ITLs, than in PBLs. TNF-α production by B lymphocytes was maximal in M-ITLs.

In conclusion, lymphocytes induced a decrease in hormonal thyroid metabolism when cocultured with autologous thyrocytes. These perturbations may be attributed, at least partly, to TNF-α secreted by lymphocytes. TNF-α interacts via the adenylate cyclase pathway of TSH signal transduction.

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C Massart, J Gibassier, M L Raoul, F Le Gall, G Lancien, N Genetet, A Denais, F Darcel, and C Lucas


We have studied the action of peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) and intrathyroidal lymphocytes (ITLs) on the biochemical and hormonal metabolism of autologous thyrocytes cultured in follicles in a collagen gel. The production of tumour necrosis factor α (TNF-α) in culture was also measured. Thyroid tissues and lymphocytes were obtained from ten patients with Graves' disease and from five control subjects. Lymphocyte-induced cytotoxicity was evaluated in autologous thyrocytes cultured in a collagen gel by several tests: neutral red uptake, lactate dehydrogenase activity and glutathione level. Hormonal metabolism was assessed by evaluating tri-iodothyronine (T3) and total cAMP production under TSH stimulation. TNF-α levels were measured in supernatants after 5 days of coculture. PBLs altered biochemical metabolism, T3 synthesis and cAMP production in autologous thyroid follicles. These inhibitions were greater than those obtained with ITLs. No difference was seen between cells obtained from patients with Graves' disease and those from normal subjects. TNF-α levels secreted by PBLs were higher than those secreted by ITLs. The concentrations of this cytokine decreased in coculture. Significant correlations were observed between the decrease in biochemical and hormonal parameters and TNF-α levels. Exogenous TNF-α and high doses of interferon γ inhibited follicle metabolism, especially hormone secretion.

In conclusion, thyrocytes cultured in follicles provide a more sensitive model than monolayer cultures for analysis of lymphocyte-induced interactions. Lymphocytes gradually inhibit the biochemical and hormonal metabolism of autologous thyroid follicles depending on the isolation method. These alterations may be particularly attributed to TNF-α secreted by lymphocytes. The cytokine-induced inhibition of thyroid hormonal function apparently involves the adenylate cyclase system.

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C Massart, J Gibassier, C Lucas, F Le Gall, S Giscard-Dartevelle, J Bourdinière, M S Moukhtar, and M Nicol


We studied the hormonal secretion of a human mixed follicular and medullary carcinoma. Thyroglobulin (Tg) secretion, especially by large cells and sometimes by small ones, was visualized with immunoenzymatic staining. Calcitonin (CT) was produced by small spindle-shaped cells. Moreover, immunofluorescence double staining performed on the resected thyroid tissue showed the secretion of both Tg and CT in a small number of cells. The cells lost their hormonal secretion after 2 months of culture. Hormonal secretion was modulated by different additives in the medium. Tg secretion was induced when TSH was added to the culture medium; the maximal effect was produced with the addition of 1 mU TSH/ml and 1 μm cortisol, which potentiated the effect of TSH on Tg production. A durable Tg secretion was obtained by embedding the cells in Engelbretch—Hohn—Swarn (EHS) tumour matrix. The CT production was reinduced by the addition of 4 mm Ca2+, 1 μm glucagon and 1 μm cortisol to the culture medium. These findings show that different cells are found in a mixed follicular and medullary carcinoma, some of which can secrete both CT and Tg. They can remain differentiated for a long period after being embedded in EHS tumour matrix with Ca2+ and hormonal components.

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Raquel S Campello, Luciana A Fátima, João Nilton Barreto-Andrade, Thais F Lucas, Rosana C Mori, Catarina S Porto, and Ubiratan F Machado

Impaired insulin-stimulated glucose uptake involves reduced expression of the GLUT4 (solute carrier family 2 facilitated glucose transporter member 4, SLC2A4 gene). 17β-estradiol (E2) modulates SLC2A4/GLUT4 expression, but the involved mechanisms are unclear. Although E2 exerts biological effects by binding to estrogen receptors 1/2 (ESR1/2), which are nuclear transcriptional factors; extranuclear effects have also been proposed. We hypothesize that E2 regulates GLUT4 through an extranuclear ESR1 mechanism. Thus, we investigated the effects of E2 upon (1) subcellular distribution of ESRs and the proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinases (SRC) involvement; (2) serine/threonine-protein kinase (AKT) activation; (3) Slc2a4/GLUT4 expression and (4) GLUT4 subcellular distribution and glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes were cultivated or not with E2 for 24 h, and additionally treated or not with ESR1-selective agonist (PPT), ESR1-selective antagonist (MPP) or selective SRC inhibitor (PP2). Subcellular distribution of ESR1, ESR2 and GLUT4 was analyzed by immunocytochemistry; Slc2a4 mRNA and GLUT4 were quantified by qPCR and Western blotting, respectively; plasma membrane GLUT4 translocation and glucose uptake were analyzed under insulin stimulus for 20 min or not. E2 induced (1) translocation of ESR1, but not of ESR2, from nucleus to plasma membrane and AKT phosphorylation, effects mimicked by PPT and blocked by MPP and PP2; (2) increased Slc2a4/GLUT4 expression and (3) increased insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation and glucose uptake. In conclusion, E2 treatment promoted a SRC-mediated nucleus-plasma membrane shuttle of ESR1, and increased AKT phosphorylation, Slc2a4/GLUT4 expression and plasma membrane GLUT4 translocation; consequently, improving insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. These results unravel mechanisms through which estrogen improves insulin sensitivity.