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Kidney Development

Volume 886 of the series Methods in Molecular Biology™ pp 109-119

Date:

Estimating Nephron Number in the Developing Kidney Using the Physical Disector/Fractionator Combination

  • Luise A. Cullen-McEwenAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Monash University
  • , James A. ArmitageAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Monash University
  • , Jens R. NyengaardAffiliated withDepartment of clinical medicine, Electrom Microscopy Laboratory, Aarhus university
  • , John F. BertramAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Monash University Email author 

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Abstract

Design-based stereology is considered the gold-standard method for estimating the total number of glomeruli, and thereby nephrons, in the adult kidney. However, until recently, a design-based method for estimating nephron number in the developing kidney was not available. For such a method to provide accurate and precise estimates, unambiguous identification of developing nephrons is essential. Here, we describe a combined histochemical/stereological technique for estimating total nephron number in the developing mouse and rat kidney. The method can be modified for use in other species.

Key words

Nephron endowment Nephron number Kidney development Stereology Disector Metanephros