Thyroid transcription factor-2 (TTF-2) is a recently cloned thyroid-specific gene and is central to the development and differentiation of the thyroid follicular cell. Information regarding transcript levels in normal and diseased adult human thyroids is lacking. We have investigated TTF-2 gene expression in various thyroid pathologies and assessed its potential in preoperative diagnosis of thyroid nodular disease, which is a common clinical problem. We have used reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and in situ hybridization (ISH) and detected TTF-2 transcripts in 60% of 125 samples of adult human thyroids tested by RTPCR (64% of 35) or ISH (59% of 90). In normal thyroid tissues TTF-2 transcript levels are low, 18 of 36 were weakly positive and 18 of 36 negative when tested by ISH. In the benign lesions, TTF-2 transcripts were detected either by RT-PCR or ISH in 8 of 8 Graves disease; 3 of 7 Hashimoto's; 2 of 2 follicular hyperplasia; 15 of 21 follicular adenoma; 11 of 13 multinodular goiters and 0 of 1 hyalinizing trabecular adenoma. In the malignant thyroid lesions, TTF-2 transcripts were detected in 8 of 18 follicular cancers; 0 of 2 anaplastic carcinoma, and 11 of 17 papillary cancers. Compared with normal thyroids, transcripts were more abundant in 24% of thyroid lesions tested by ISH. In conclusion, we report for the first time on TTF-2 gene expression in normal and diseased adult human thyroids.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism