Hey everyone, I work in a lab that usually studies free nerve endings and DRG, but my project is focused heavily on the dorsal horn. My PI has asked me to:
(1) find estimates for the number of neurons in each lamina of the dorsal horn
(2) find approximate diameters for the widths of each lamina.
Ideally, I should find separate estimates for both adult and juvenile mice.
I’ve been combing the literature for a week and the best insight I have is from Todd’s 2010 review, which states “there are approximately 400 projection neurons in lamina 1, ~5% of the total neurons in this lamina.” That suggests there are 8000 neurons in just the thinnest lamina!
I’ve since started wondering if it’s even possible/practical to count neurons with a handheld tally, like we always do with the DRG. The other relevant paper I’ve found (Haring, 2018), describes using a Matlab program to analyze the images of the DH.
All of that said, I think my questions are:
(a) If you work with dorsal horn neurons, how do you count cells mounted on slides for IHC or ISH?
(b) Is there a way to do it solely by hand/ImageJ, or is learning to use a fancy calculator like Matlab vital?
© How many neurons would you expect to see in each lamina?
(d) Do you have any good heuristics for approximating the widths of each lamina? My PI thinks I should be able to just use ImageJ’s measuring tools to estimate where each lamina begins and ends.
(e) Does anyone know a reference that might detail how this information changes during post-natal development?
Thanks for reading- since no one in my lab has much experience with the spinal cord, I’ve been so grateful to find this forum.