5. Practical Stereology for Preclinical Neurotoxicology

  1. Peter R. Mouton PhD
  1. Mark T. Butt

Published Online: 22 NOV 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118444177.ch5

Neurostereology: Unbiased Stereology of Neural Systems

Neurostereology: Unbiased Stereology of Neural Systems

How to Cite

Butt, M. T. (2014) Practical Stereology for Preclinical Neurotoxicology, in Neurostereology: Unbiased Stereology of Neural Systems (ed P. R. Mouton), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Ames, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118444177.ch5

Author Information

  1. Tox Path Specialists, LLC, Frederick, MD, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 22 NOV 2013
  2. Published Print: 17 JAN 2014

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118444214

Online ISBN: 9781118444177



  • computerized stereology;
  • design-based stereology;
  • practical stereology;
  • preclinical neurotoxicology


Preclinical toxicology studies are typically carried out according to regulatory guidelines that involve the microscopic examination of tissues from animals exposed to various drugs/chemicals and sacrificed after single or multiple dosing regimens. This chapter reports on the perspective from the extensive use of design-based stereology to investigate quantitative changes in the nervous system as applied to drug safety studies. It outlines some of the critical factors that contribute to producing tissue slides of sufficient high quality for stereology. Stereologic investigations may be carried out using manual or computer-assisted approaches. Stereologic investigations may produce accurate and consistent results if care is taken to avoid all known sources of systematic error (bias), beginning with a protocol designed by a principal investigator with a thorough understanding of the nuances of stereology theory and the specific anatomical reference space of interest.