Cell Densities in the Mouse Brain: A Systematic Review

Front Neuroanat. 2018 Oct 23:12:83. doi: 10.3389/fnana.2018.00083. eCollection 2018.


The mouse brain is the most extensively studied brain of all species. We performed an exhaustive review of the literature to establish our current state of knowledge on cell numbers in mouse brain regions, arguably the most fundamental property to measure when attempting to understand a brain. The synthesized information, collected in one place, can be used by both theorists and experimentalists. Although for commonly-studied regions cell densities could be obtained for principal cell types, overall we know very little about how many cells are present in most brain regions and even less about cell-type specific densities. There is also substantial variation in cell density values obtained from different sources. This suggests that we need a new approach to obtain cell density datasets for the mouse brain.

Keywords: brain regions; cell density; mouse brain; stereology; whole-brain atlas.