Normal Human Thyrocytes in Culture

  • Sarah J. Morgan
  • Susanne Neumann
  • Marvin C. GershengornEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1817)


In order to study functions of normal human thyrocytes, we developed a protocol to obtain these cells in primary culture. Thyrocytes are obtained from normal tissue obtained at surgery for removal of thyroid neoplasms. Under sterile conditions, specimens are minced into small pieces, mono-dispersed cells are generated by digestion with collagenase type IV and the cells plated in tissue culture grade dishes in Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium (DMEM) containing 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS). After 24 h of incubation at 37 °C in a humidified 5% CO2 incubator, the supernatant containing non-adherent cells is removed and the adherent cells are propagated in DMEM with 10% FBS, 100 IU/mL penicillin, and 10 μg/mL streptomycin. Cells proliferate with a doubling time of 72–94 h and retain functional characteristics for 9–12 doublings. We have used them successfully in studies to elucidate the signaling by thyrotropin (TSH) and insulin-like growth factor 1.

Key words

Normal human thyrocytes Primary cultures Mono-dispersed cells Collagenase type IV Thyrotropin TSH Insulin-like growth factor 1 IGF-1 Thyrocyte differentiation 



This work was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health (Z01 DK011006).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah J. Morgan
    • 1
  • Susanne Neumann
    • 1
  • Marvin C. Gershengorn
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Endocrinology and Receptor BiologyNational Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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