Previously, we demonstrated that Runx2 (Cbfa1/AML3), a chondrocyte-specific transcription factor, is expressed in thyroid glands of mice, where it stimulates expression of the thyroglobulin (Tg) gene. Here, we reverse transcribed thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1), Pax-8, Tg, thyroid peroxidase (TPO) and Na(+)/I(-) symporter (NIS) cDNAs from mouse trachea and bronchus RNA samples, but were unable to recover these cDNAs from mouse liver RNA samples. Tg mRNA levels in trachea and bronchus were about 5.1% and 2.1% of those in thyroid glands. ATDC-5 cells, cultured chondrocytes, expressed about 30-fold more Tg mRNA than undifferentiated cells. Gel shift and Tg gene reporter assay revealed that TTF-1 stimulated Tg gene expression in these cells. These results indicate that chondrocytes turn on some aspects of the thyroid gene expression program and that TTF-1 plays important roles in Tg gene expression in chondrocyte.