The morphology of the tight junction of rat thyroid epithelium was examined in freeze-fractured material fixed in glutaraldehyde and briefly glycerinated. In normal thyroids the overall appearance of this junctional specialization resembled that of other cell types in many respects. Short-term changes in thyroid activity and hypophysectomy for 3 wk did not obviously affect the appearance of tight junctions. Feeding of the goitrogen, thiouracil, which stimulates secretion of thyroid-stimulating hormone, resulted in the appearance of some very narrow and some very wide, tight junctions or sometimes junctions with both wide and narrow regions within the same cell.

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