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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 578698, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/578698
Research Article

A Simple Method to Estimate the Number of Autophagic Elements by Electron Microscopic Morphometry in Real Cellular Dimensions

Department of Anatomy, Cell and Developmental Biology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest 1117, Hungary

Received 17 March 2014; Accepted 4 June 2014; Published 3 July 2014

Academic Editor: Ioannis P. Nezis

Copyright © 2014 Attila L. Kovács. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Autophagic elements typically appear as spherical bodies. During their life they undergo a series of changes (e.g., fusion, degradation of content, and swelling) which influence their size in a way that may be characteristic for cell type, stage of maturation, or various experimentally manipulated parameters. A simple and time efficient method is suggested here to use exactly calculated specific surface values and estimate average diameter and number of autophagic elements in real cellular dimensions. The method is based on the easiest morphometric determination of relative surface (surface density) and volume (volume density) data by electron microscopy. A series of data from real experimental samples of liver and exocrine pancreatic cells are offered to illustrate the potential of these measurements and calculations.