Methods for determining numbers of cells and synapses: A case for more uniform standards of review

R. E. Coggeshall, H. A. Lekan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

889 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Neuron and synapse numbers are important assays in neuroscience. These numbers are estimated by one of four methods: 1) profile counts, 2) assumption-based methods, 3) serial reconstructions, and 4) stereological methods. The criteria for these methods are diverse. This creates a disparity in that some reviewers accept estimates from any of these methods, while others accept only specific methods. An equally important issue is the diversity of sampling strategies, since unbiased estimates of neuronal or synaptic numbers are contingent upon both counting and sampling techniques. The purpose of this commentary is to institute a dialog that will lead to a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the above methods, and to propose guidelines that should lead to more uniform and thus fairer judging of the studies that provide estimates of neuron or synapse numbers. In addition, adoption of more uniform standards for obtaining unbiased numerical estimates should result in the generation of an unbiased database that will be of considerable use in future studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-15
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Volume364
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Synapses
Cell Count
Neurons
Neurosciences
Databases
Guidelines

Keywords

  • counting methods
  • profiles
  • sampling
  • stereology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Methods for determining numbers of cells and synapses : A case for more uniform standards of review. / Coggeshall, R. E.; Lekan, H. A.

In: Journal of Comparative Neurology, Vol. 364, No. 1, 1996, p. 6-15.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{98283a7c5f0b4f38872809c0826d40ef,
title = "Methods for determining numbers of cells and synapses: A case for more uniform standards of review",
abstract = "Neuron and synapse numbers are important assays in neuroscience. These numbers are estimated by one of four methods: 1) profile counts, 2) assumption-based methods, 3) serial reconstructions, and 4) stereological methods. The criteria for these methods are diverse. This creates a disparity in that some reviewers accept estimates from any of these methods, while others accept only specific methods. An equally important issue is the diversity of sampling strategies, since unbiased estimates of neuronal or synaptic numbers are contingent upon both counting and sampling techniques. The purpose of this commentary is to institute a dialog that will lead to a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the above methods, and to propose guidelines that should lead to more uniform and thus fairer judging of the studies that provide estimates of neuron or synapse numbers. In addition, adoption of more uniform standards for obtaining unbiased numerical estimates should result in the generation of an unbiased database that will be of considerable use in future studies.",
keywords = "counting methods, profiles, sampling, stereology",
author = "Coggeshall, {R. E.} and Lekan, {H. A.}",
year = "1996",
doi = "10.1002/(SICI)1096-9861(19960101)364:1<6::AID-CNE2>3.0.CO;2-9",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "364",
pages = "6--15",
journal = "Journal of Comparative Neurology",
issn = "0021-9967",
publisher = "Wiley-Liss Inc.",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Methods for determining numbers of cells and synapses

T2 - A case for more uniform standards of review

AU - Coggeshall, R. E.

AU - Lekan, H. A.

PY - 1996

Y1 - 1996

N2 - Neuron and synapse numbers are important assays in neuroscience. These numbers are estimated by one of four methods: 1) profile counts, 2) assumption-based methods, 3) serial reconstructions, and 4) stereological methods. The criteria for these methods are diverse. This creates a disparity in that some reviewers accept estimates from any of these methods, while others accept only specific methods. An equally important issue is the diversity of sampling strategies, since unbiased estimates of neuronal or synaptic numbers are contingent upon both counting and sampling techniques. The purpose of this commentary is to institute a dialog that will lead to a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the above methods, and to propose guidelines that should lead to more uniform and thus fairer judging of the studies that provide estimates of neuron or synapse numbers. In addition, adoption of more uniform standards for obtaining unbiased numerical estimates should result in the generation of an unbiased database that will be of considerable use in future studies.

AB - Neuron and synapse numbers are important assays in neuroscience. These numbers are estimated by one of four methods: 1) profile counts, 2) assumption-based methods, 3) serial reconstructions, and 4) stereological methods. The criteria for these methods are diverse. This creates a disparity in that some reviewers accept estimates from any of these methods, while others accept only specific methods. An equally important issue is the diversity of sampling strategies, since unbiased estimates of neuronal or synaptic numbers are contingent upon both counting and sampling techniques. The purpose of this commentary is to institute a dialog that will lead to a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the above methods, and to propose guidelines that should lead to more uniform and thus fairer judging of the studies that provide estimates of neuron or synapse numbers. In addition, adoption of more uniform standards for obtaining unbiased numerical estimates should result in the generation of an unbiased database that will be of considerable use in future studies.

KW - counting methods

KW - profiles

KW - sampling

KW - stereology

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0030027461&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0030027461&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/(SICI)1096-9861(19960101)364:1<6::AID-CNE2>3.0.CO;2-9

DO - 10.1002/(SICI)1096-9861(19960101)364:1<6::AID-CNE2>3.0.CO;2-9

M3 - Article

C2 - 8789272

AN - SCOPUS:0030027461

VL - 364

SP - 6

EP - 15

JO - Journal of Comparative Neurology

JF - Journal of Comparative Neurology

SN - 0021-9967

IS - 1

ER -