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J Neurosci Methods. 2007 Aug 15;164(1):19-26. Epub 2007 Apr 6.

Spatial distribution of human neocortical neurons and glial cells according to sex and age measured by the saucer method.

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Research Laboratory for Stereology and Neuroscience, Bispebjerg University Hospital, Bispebjerg Bakke 23, DK-2400 Copenhagen NV, Denmark.

Erratum in

  • J Neurosci Methods. 2010 Oct 30;193(1):164.


A new stereological probe, the saucer, was used for estimating three-dimensional (3D) spatial distributions of particles around particles. The advantages of the saucer include that the measurements and the results are in 3D and the size and design of the probe enables the investigator to sample a proportion of a suitable size to have a reasonable relationship between workload and the information obtained. In this paper the method is used on vertical sections to investigate the spatial distribution of astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, microglial cells, endothelial cells and secondary neurons around primary neurons in the human neocortex (divided into frontal-, temporal-, parietal- and occipital cortex) of young and old subjects free of neurological or psychological disease to test if age and gender has any influence on the cell distribution in human neocortex. Plots of the spatial distribution of the densities of all cell types did not show any difference between women and men and no difference between brains of young and old subjects. Thus it is concluded that in this small study the spatial distribution of the densities of the different types of cells in brains from individuals free of neurological disorders was independent of age and gender.

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