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Title: Stereology of the thyroid gland in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in comparison with human (Homo sapiens) : quantitative and functional implications
Authors: Kot, BCW
Lau, TYH
Cheng, SCH
Issue Date: 14-May-2013
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Source: PLoS one, May 2013, v. 8, no. 5, e62060, p. 1-7 How to cite?
Journal: PLoS one 
Abstract: The mammalian thyroid gland maintains basal metabolism in tissues for optimal function. Determining thyroid volume is important in assessing growth and involution. Volume estimation is also important in stereological studies. Direct measurements of colloid volume and nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio of the follicular cells may provide important information about thyroid gland function such as hormone storage and secretion, which helps understand the changes at morphological and functional levels. The present study determined the colloid volume using simple stereological principle and the nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio of 4 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins and 2 human thyroid glands. In both dolphin and human thyroid glands, the size of the follicles tended to be quite variable. The distribution of large and small follicles within the thyroid gland was also found to be random in both the dolphin and human thyroid gland; however, the size of follicles appeared to decrease as a function of increasing age in the dolphin thyroid gland. The mean colloid volume of the dolphin thyroid gland and human thyroid gland was 1.22×10⁵ µm³ and 7.02×10⁵ µm³ respectively. The dolphin and human subjects had a significant difference in the mean colloid volume. The mean N/C ratio of the dolphin thyroid follicular epithelia and human follicular epithelia was 0.50 and 0.64 respectively. The dolphin and human subjects had a significant difference in the mean N/C ratio. This information contributes to understanding dolphin thyroid physiology and its structural adaptations to meet the physical demands of the aquatic environment, and aids with ultrasonography and corrective therapy in live subjects.
EISSN: 1932-6203
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062060
Rights: © 2013 Kot et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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