ASTRID & HANNS-FRIEDER MICHLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ASTRID & HANNS-FRIEDER MICHLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Goitre. Light micrograph of a section through follicles in the thyroid gland affected by goitre. Several bloated follicles are seen here. Goitre is an enlargement of the thyroid gland in the neck, most often caused by a deficiency of the essential mineral iodine. The thyroid gland is made up of several follicles, the lining cells of which (dark purple nuclei) produce the hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine. They become bloated due to the accumulation of colloid, a liquid necessary for synthesis of these hormones. If the cause is solely dietary, an iodine-rich diet will reverse the swelling. Magnification: x50 at 35mm size.
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