Résumé : Regulation of TSH receptor (TSHr) mRNA accumulation has been investigated in canine thyrocytes in primary culture by in situ hybridization experiments; the effects of the mitogenic thyrotropin (TSH), epidermal growth factor (EGF), and phorbol ester TPA (12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate) have been compared. Apart from their mitogenic action, TSH enhances, while EGF and phorbol ester inhibit, the expression of differentiation. The TSHr gene was transcribed in almost all the cells cultured in control conditions (serum free medium supplemented with insulin). Addition of TSH slightly upregulated (twofold) the expression (mRNA) of the TSHr gene. This positive effect was maintained for 20 and 44 h of treatment. EGF and TPA reduced transiently the TSHr mRNA accumulation but did not suppress it. In these different conditions, the TSHr mRNA was homogeneously distributed within the cell population. This contrasted strongly with the effects of TSH, EGF, and TPA on the expression of the thyroglobulin gene, a prominent marker of thyroid cell differentiation: in this case, the regulation was much tighter (high range of stimulation by TSH, strong inhibition by EGF, and suppression of Tg gene expression by TPA) and displayed a great variability of the level of individual cellular response. The fact that the TSHr gene was little modulated and remained expressed regardless of the treatment may reflect the physiological role of the receptor which is the main connection of the thyrocyte to the regulation network.