- This study shows that mitochondria in liver, kidney, heart, and brain of the mouse have a distinct mitochondrial density. It also demonstrates that the mtDNA copy number per mitochondrion is organ-specific. A reliable method of determining mitochondrial density per organ is by stereological analysis of tissue sections while mtDNA quantitation is by the use of radiolabelled mtDNA probe. This is the first study in which a comprehensive examination of mitochondrial density and quantitation of mitochondrial genomes in mouse organs have been done. In summary the variability is not only in mitochondrial density but also in genomic copy number in mitochondria of various tissues.