Estimation of glomerular podocyte number: a selection of valid methods

Kevin V Lemley, John Frederick Bertram, Susanne B Nicholas, Kathryn White

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22 Citations (Scopus)


The podocyte depletion hypothesis has emerged as an important unifying concept in glomerular pathology. The estimation of podocyte number is therefore often a critical component of studies of progressive renal diseases. Despite this, there is little uniformity in the biomedical literature with regard to the methods used to estimate this important parameter. Here we review a selection of valid methods for estimating podocyte number: exhaustive enumeration method, Weibel and Gomez method, disector/Cavalieri combination, disector/fractionator combination, and thick-and-thin section method. We propose the use of the disector/fractionator method for studies in which controlled sectioning of tissue is feasible, reserving the Weibel and Gomez method for studies based on archival or routine pathology material.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1193 - 1202
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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