Neocortical and hippocampal neuron and glial cell numbers in the rhesus monkey.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The rhesus monkey is widely used as an experimental animal model in the study of brain function and disease. While previous quantitative studies have provided knowledge of regional numbers, little is known of the total neocortical neuron and glial cell numbers in this species. The aim of this study is to establish quantitative norms. We use the optical fractionator and Cavalieri principle to examine the right hemisphere of eight young rhesus monkeys taken from the control group of an ongoing study. Applying these methods to agar-embedded and vibratome-sectioned tissue, we generate estimates of cell numbers and regional volumes of neocortical and hippocampal regions with coefficients of variance (CV) around 10%. The mean unilateral neocortical neuron number is 1.35 x 10(9) (CV +/- 0.10) and the mean unilateral neocortical glial cell number is 0.78 x 10(9) (CV +/- 0.17). Mean unilateral neocortical volume is found to be 8.5 (CV +/- 0.10) cm(3) after processing, or 19 cm(3) when correcting for shrinkage. The neuron/glia ratio is 1.77. The neurons are distributed with 18% in the frontal cortex, 57% in the temporal and parietal cortices, and 25% in the occipital cortex. In the hippocampal subregions, we found unilateral neuron number of 1.72 x 10(6) (CV +/- 0.13) and glial number of 2.25 x 10(6) (CV +/- 0.17) in CA1, and 0.80 x 10(6) (CV +/- 0.27) neurons and 1.05 x 10(6) (CV +/- 0.26) glial cells in CA2-3. Comparisons with related studies show quantitative variation, but also variations in methods and applications. The results are phylogenetically consistent, apart from the neuron/glia ratio, which is remarkably higher than what is found in other species.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Christensen, JR; Larsen, KB; Lisanby, SH; Scalia, J; Arango, V; Dwork, AJ; Pakkenberg, B

Published Date

  • March 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 290 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 330 - 340

PubMed ID

  • 17525948

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1932-8486

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/ar.20504


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States