Estimating total nephron number in the adult kidney using the physical disector/fractionator combination

Luise A Cullen-McEwen, Rebecca N Douglas-Denton, John F Bertram

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Nephron number has emerged as a useful parameter for assessing the roles of specific genes and feto-maternal environmental factors in kidney development. Nephron number is also of clinical interest due to increasing evidence suggesting that low nephron number is associated with increased risk for developing chronic adult disease, including cardiovascular and renal disease. The physical disector/fractionator combination is considered the gold standard method for estimating total nephron number in kidneys. Here we describe the use of this method to estimate total nephron number in mouse and rat kidneys, and variations to the method required to estimate nephron number in larger species, including human.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKidney Development: Methods and Protocols
EditorsOdyss? Michos
Place of PublicationUSA
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9781617798504
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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