Stereological Methods to Quantify Cell Loss in the Huntington’s Disease Human Brain

  • Nasim F. Mehrabi
  • Malvindar K. Singh-Bains
  • Henry J. Waldvogel
  • Richard L. M. FaullEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1780)


Design-based stereology is a quantification method to obtain a precise and unbiased estimate of the total number of cells (or any other objects) in a well-defined region of interest. There are two comparable stereological counting methods, (a) the Optical Fractionator and (b) the Nv:Vref method. Due to the adherence to strict stereological protocol, the Optical Fractionator is the most unbiased and preferable stereological method. However, the Nv:Vref method can be an alternative when tissue availability is limited. Both methods use systematic random sampling (SRS) techniques to account for the inhomogeneous nature of biological tissue. Here we describe the criteria for a successful and accurate stereological study, using human brain tissue.

Key words

Design-based stereology StereoInvestigator Optical Fractionator Human brain Huntington’s disease 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nasim F. Mehrabi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Malvindar K. Singh-Bains
    • 1
    • 2
  • Henry J. Waldvogel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Richard L. M. Faull
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre for Brain Research, Faculty of Medical and Health SciencesUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy and Medical ImagingUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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