Résumé : The purpose of this study was to use the microarray technology to define expression profiles characteristic of thyroid autonomous adenomas and relate these findings to physiological mechanisms. Experiments were performed on a series of separated adenomas and their normal counterparts on Micromax cDNA microarrays covering 2400 genes (analysis I), and on a pool of adenomatous tissues and their corresponding normal counterparts using microarrays of 18,000 spots (analysis II). Results for genes present on the two arrays corroborated and several gene regulations previously determined by Northern blotting or microarrays in similar lesions were confirmed. Five overexpressed and 24 underexpressed genes were also confirmed by real-time RT-PCR in some of the samples used for microarray analysis, and in additional tumor specimens. Our results show: (1) a change in the cell populations of the tumor, with a marked decrease in lymphocytes and blood cells and an increase in endothelial cells. The latter increase would correspond to the establishment of a close relation between thyrocytes and endothelial cells and is related to increased N-cadherin expression. It explains the increased blood flow in the tumor; (2) a homogeneity of tumor samples correlating with their common physiopathological mechanism: the constitutive activation of the thyrotropin (TSH)/cAMP cascade; (3) a low proportion of regulated genes consistent with the concept of a minimal deviation tumor; (4) a higher expression of genes coding for specific functional proteins, consistent with the functional hyperactivity of the tumors; (5) an increase of phosphodiesterase gene expression which explains the relatively low cyclic AMP levels measured in these tumors; (6) an overexpression of antiapoptotic genes and underexpression of proapoptotic genes compatible with their low apoptosis rate; (7) an overexpression of N-cadherin and downregulation of caveolins, which casts doubt about the use of these expressions as markers for malignancy.