Estimation of the mean caliper diameter of cell nuclei: Serial section reconstruction method and endothelial nuclei from human lung

Donald A Greeley, James D. Crapo, Robin T. Vollmer

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In morphometric studies of lung tissue, accurate determination of the total number of any specific type of cell, such as the endothelial cell, requires knowledge of the shape of the cell nucleus. This knowledge of shape is necessary to calculate the mean caliper diameter, which, in turn, is an indispensable element of the equation for the number of nuclei (therefore cells) per unit volume (Nv). Nine human lung endothelial cell nuclei were therefore reconstructed in dental wax from serial sections and were found to be pleomorphic triaxial ellipsoids. Five of these approached an oblate shape. The axes of these nine nuclear models were directly measured and a computer program using numerical integration was written to determine the mean caliper diameters of these ellipsoids. The estimated mean semi‐axes of the nine nuclei were (±SD) 5·98 ± 1·61, 3·61 ± 0·70, 1·36 ± 0·34; and the estimated overall mean caliper diameter for the total population of human lung endothelial nuclei was 7·97 ± 1·27 μm. 1978 Blackwell Science Ltd

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-39
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Microscopy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1978


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology

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