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Jens Randel Nyengaard

Design-based stereological study of the guinea-pig (Cavia porcellus) cerebellum

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  • Margherita De Silva, University of Bologna
  • ,
  • Javad Sadeghinezhad, University of Tehran
  • ,
  • Jens R. Nyengaard
  • Mahdi Aghabalazadeh Asl, University of Tehran
  • ,
  • Ava Saeidi, University of Tehran
  • ,
  • Nadia De Sordi, University of Bologna
  • ,
  • Roberto Chiocchetti, University of Bologna
  • ,
  • Annamaria Grandis, University of Bologna

Guinea pigs have proved useful as experimental animal models in studying cerebellar anatomical and structural alterations in human neurological disease; however, they are also currently acquiring increasing veterinary interest as companion animals. The morphometric features of the normal cerebellum in guinea pigs have not been previously investigated using stereology. The objective of the present work was to establish normal volumetric and quantitative stereological parameters for cerebellar tissues in guinea pigs, by means of unbiased design-based stereology. Cerebellar total volume, gray and white matter volume fractions, molecular and granular layers volume fractions, cerebellar surface area, Purkinje cellular and nuclear volumes, and the Purkinje cell total count were stereologically estimated. For this purpose, cerebellar hemispheres from six adult male guinea pigs were employed. Isotropic, uniform random sections were obtained by applying the orientator method, and subsequently processed for light microscopy. The cerebellar total volume, the white and grey matter volume fractions, and the molecular and granular layer volumes were estimated using the Cavalieri's principle and the point counting system. The cerebellar surface area was estimated through the use of test lines; Purkinje cellular and nuclear volumes were analysed using the nucleator technique, whereas the Purkinje cell total count was obtained by means of the optical disector technique. The mean ± standard deviation total volume of a guinea-pig cerebellar hemisphere was 0.11 ± 0.01 cm3. The mean volumetric proportions occupied by the gray and white matters were, respectively, 78.0 ± 2.6% and 22.0 ± 2.6%, whereas their mean absolute volumes were found to be 0.21 ± 0.02 cm3 and 0.059 ± 0.006 cm3. The volumes of the molecular and granular layers were estimated at 112.4 ± 20.6 mm3 and 104.4 ± 7.3 mm3, whereas their mean thicknesses were calculated to be 0.184 ± 0.020 mm and 0.17 ± 0.02 mm. The molecular and granular layers accounted for 40.7 ± 3.9% and 37.4 ± 1.8% of total cerebellar volume respectively. The surface area of the cerebellum measured 611.4 ± 96.8 mm2. Purkinje cells with a cellular volume of 3210.1 µm3 and with a nuclear volume of 470.9 µm3 had a higher incidence of occurrence. The mean total number of Purkinje cells for a cerebellar hemisphere was calculated to be 253,090 ± 34,754. The morphometric data emerging from the present study provide a set of reference data which might prove valuable as basic anatomical contribution for practical applications in veterinary neurology.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Anatomy
Pages (from-to)517-528
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Anatomical Society

    Research areas

  • cerebellum, Guinea pig, nervous system, neuroanatomy, stereology

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