Résumé : A hybrid gene comprising the bovine thyroglobulin gene promoter and the coding region for the simian virus-40 large T- and small t-antigens was used to generate 30 transgenic mice by microinjection into the pronuclei of single cell embryos. All animals except three developed, as single primitive pathology, a dramatic enlargement of the thyroid gland. Compression of trachea and esophagus, accompanied by dyspnea, inspiratory stridor, and dysphagia, led to a progressive cachexia and premature death attributed to respiratory failure. Despite the large thyroid volume, T4 levels were abnormally low, and the progression of the syndrome could be delayed by a substitutive treatment with thyroid hormones. The rapid evolution of the disease, leading to the death of most founder transgenic animals before the breeding age, prevented transmission of the transgene to their offspring. Only two transgenic lines are presently surviving. Immunohistochemical analysis of the tissues revealed a specific expression of the simian virus-40 antigens in the thyroid cells. Hyperplasia was already obvious at birth. Older animals displayed moderately to poorly differentiated thyroid adenocarcinomas. Electron microscopy revealed, however, the persistence of cell polarity and the presence of microfollicles between the densely packed cells. Cell lines derived from these large T-expressing thyroids were shown to have lost expression of both thyroglobulin and thyroperoxidase, while expressing low levels of TSH receptors. These transgenic mice could constitute an interesting model of aggressive adenocarcinoma, sharing phenotypical similarities with the anaplastic type of human thyroid tumors.