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Caspase 9 and caspase 3 immunohistochemical pattern in skeletal and cardiac muscles at different times after death: An experimental study on pmi estimation

  • Autori: Mondello C.; Stassi C.; Minutoli L.; Baldino G.; Alibrandi A.; Spatola G.F.; Uzzo M.L.; Micali A.; Puzzolo D.; Asmundo A.; Ventura Spagnolo E.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2021
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • Parole Chiave: Cardiac muscle; Caspase 3; Caspase 9; Forensic sciences; Post mortem interval; Skeletal muscle; Time after death
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(1) Background: The estimation of the post mortem interval (PMI) is a challenge for forensic pathologists because data emerging from methods commonly applied are not always conclusive, since several conditions exist that may affect the reliability of these parameters. Thus, new approaches have been proposed to overcome such a limit. In recent years, several studies have been performed on proteins analyzing their expression/degradation patterns in relation to the progressing of the post mortem interval. (2) Methods: The immunoreactivity patterns of two apoptosis mediators— Caspase 9 and Caspase 3—have been tested in order to evaluate their potential role as markers of the post mortem interval. The immunohistochemical analysis was performed on samples of skeletal and cardiac muscles obtained from rats at 0, 4, 8, 12, 24 and 72 h after death. (3) Results: The observed immunoreactivity patterns of both Caspase 9 and Caspase 3 showed a significant correlation with increasing post mortem interval either in skeletal or cardiac muscles, while the comparison of the immunoreactivity patterns of the two apoptotic mediators within each tissue appeared consistent with a preliminary activation of the “initiator” Caspase 9, which, in turn, subsequently activates the “executioner” Caspase 3. (4) Conclusion: The different expressions and decrease immunohistochemically observed on both caspases with progressing PMI support the usefulness of the combined analysis for post mortem interval estimation.