Article: article from journal or magazin.
Does the physical disector method provide an accurate estimation of sensory neuron number in rat dorsal root ganglia?
Journal of Neuroscience Methods
The physical disector is a method of choice for estimating unbiased neuron numbers; nevertheless, calibration is needed to evaluate each counting method. The validity of this method can be assessed by comparing the estimated cell number with the true number determined by a direct counting method in serial sections. We reconstructed a 1/5 of rat lumbar dorsal root ganglia taken from two experimental conditions. From each ganglion, images of 200 adjacent semi-thin sections were used to reconstruct a volumetric dataset (stack of voxels). On these stacks the number of sensory neurons was estimated and counted respectively by physical disector and direct counting methods. Also, using the coordinates of nuclei from the direct counting, we simulate, by a Matlab program, disector pairs separated by increasing distances in a ganglion model. The comparison between the results of these approaches clearly demonstrates that the physical disector method provides a valid and reliable estimate of the number of sensory neurons only when the distance between the consecutive disector pairs is 60 microm or smaller. In these conditions the size of error between the results of physical disector and direct counting does not exceed 6%. In contrast when the distance between two pairs is larger than 60 microm (70-200 microm) the size of error increases rapidly to 27%. We conclude that the physical dissector method provides a reliable estimate of the number of rat sensory neurons only when the separating distance between the consecutive dissector pairs is no larger than 60 microm.
Stereological methods, Direct counting method, Three-dimensional reconstruction, Calibration of physical dissector method, Computer ganglion model, Total number of sensory neurons, Dorsal root ganglia
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