Virchows Archiv A

, Volume 409, Issue 5, pp 555–570 | Cite as

Morphological demonstration and quantification of TSH binding sites in neoplastic and non-neoplastic thyroid tissues

An autoradiographic study using125I-labelled thyrotropin
  • Sören Schröder
  • Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Gärtner
  • Rainer Schroiff
  • Peter Schmiegelow
  • Axel Niendorf
  • Werner Böcker


We have developed a morphological method to portray TSH binding sites in intact tissue specimens. Frozen sections were incubated with125I-labelled TSH so as to localise binding sites by autoradiography. The proof of specificity was substantiated by: the competitive inhibition of125I-TSH-labelling with cold TSH, the lack of binding in non-target tissues and a lack of binding in TSH target tissues after incubation with125I-hCG or free125I.

In applying this method to a total of 22 surgical specimens of thyroid, striking differences came to light in respect of the degree to which125I-TSH binding occurred in the various thyroid disorders. When compared with histologically normal tissue, labelling was generally decreased in toxic adenomas, non-functioning adenomas (cold nodules), and thyroids affected by Graves' disease, whereas non-toxic colloid goitre cases clearly exhibited denser binding. Medullary and anaplastic carcinomas exhibited no specific labelling whilst binding varied in the differentiated carcinomas between no effective binding or a level resembling that found in normal thyroid tissue.

Key words

Human thyroid TSH receptor 125I-TSH Autoradiography TSH binding sites 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sören Schröder
    • 1
  • Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Gärtner
    • 2
  • Rainer Schroiff
    • 1
  • Peter Schmiegelow
    • 1
  • Axel Niendorf
    • 1
  • Werner Böcker
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of PathologyUniversity of HamburgHamburg 20
  2. 2.Department of Nuclear MedicineUniversity of HamburgHamburg 20
  3. 3.Institute of PathologyGeneral Hospital AltonaHamburgGermany

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