Stereological Methods for Estimating the Myelin Sheaths of the Myelinated Fibers in White Matter

Authors

  • Chen Li,

    1. Department of Neurology, First Affiliated Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People's Republic of China
    2. Laboratory of Stem Cell and Tissue Engineering, College of Basic Medical Sciences, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People's Republic of China
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    • Chen Li and Shu Yang are the co-first authors.

  • Shu Yang,

    1. Department of Neurology, First Affiliated Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People's Republic of China
    2. Laboratory of Stem Cell and Tissue Engineering, College of Basic Medical Sciences, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People's Republic of China
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    • Chen Li and Shu Yang are the co-first authors.

  • Lin Chen,

    1. Laboratory of Stem Cell and Tissue Engineering, College of Basic Medical Sciences, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People's Republic of China
    2. Department of Histology and Embryology, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People's Republic of China
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  • Wei Lu,

    1. Laboratory of Stem Cell and Tissue Engineering, College of Basic Medical Sciences, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People's Republic of China
    2. Department of Histology and Embryology, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People's Republic of China
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  • Xuan Qiu,

    1. Laboratory of Stem Cell and Tissue Engineering, College of Basic Medical Sciences, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People's Republic of China
    2. Department of Histology and Embryology, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People's Republic of China
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  • Hans Jorgen G. Gundersen,

    1. Stereology and Electron Microscopy Research Laboratory, MIND Center, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
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  • Yong Tang

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neurology, First Affiliated Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People's Republic of China
    2. Laboratory of Stem Cell and Tissue Engineering, College of Basic Medical Sciences, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People's Republic of China
    3. Department of Histology and Embryology, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People's Republic of China
    • Department of Neurology, First Affiliated Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, People's Republic of China
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Abstract

In the present study, efficient and unbiased stereological techniques to investigate the myelin sheaths of the myelinated fibers in rat white matter were established. In the present design, four tissue blocks were obtained from the entire white matter of rat brain in a uniform, random fashion. Isotropic, uniform random (IUR) sections were ensured by the use of the isector technique. One section with the thickness of 60 nm was cut from the center of each epon block. Eight to 10 fields of vision were randomly photographed under a transmission electron microscope. The total length of the myelinated fibers and the total volume of the myelin sheaths in the white matter were the products of the length density, volume density, and the volume of the white matter obtained with the Cavalieri principle. The mean areas of the myelinated fibers profiles and myelin sheaths were estimated with the point counting technique. The inner and outer perimeters of the myelin sheaths were estimated by the use of a line grid, and the thickness of the myelin sheaths was estimated by direct orthogonal measurements in uniform, random locations. The described methods will provide very useful tools for future quantitative studies of changes in the myelin sheaths of white matter in various experimental conditions and in various neurodegenerative diseases. Anat Rec, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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