Intranuclear ubiquitin immunoreactivity of the pigmented neurons of the substantia nigra in fatal acute mechanical asphyxiation and drowning

L. Quan, B. L. Zhu, K. Ishida, S. Oritani, M. Taniguchi, Masaki Q Fujita, H. Maeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To evaluate the significance of immunohistochemical staining of ubiquitin (heat shock protein) in the midbrain for the medico-legal diagnosis of fatal asphyxiation and drowning, we investigated forensic autopsy cases of fatal mechanical asphyxia (n = 18), manual/ligature strangulation (n = 9), hanging (n = 4), aspiration/choking (n = 5) and drowning (n = 16). These were compared to control groups (n = 30) consisting of fatalities from brainstem injury (n = 12) and acute myocardial infarction (n = 18). Ubiquitin was clearly demonstrated in the nuclei of pigmented substantia nigra neurons, showing two intranuclear staining patterns: a type of inclusion (possibly Marinesco bodies) and a diffuse staining. The diffuse staining was significantly more frequently observed in cases of drowning. The percentage of total ubiquitin positive neurons was frequently higher in strangulation (5.1-28.4%, mean 17.0%), aspiration/choking (5.3-32.0%, mean 17.6%) and drowning (7.0-34.1%, mean 19.8%), but relatively low in hanging (5.1-12.7%, mean 8.6%), brainstem injury (0-10.4%, mean 5.0%) and acute myocardial infarction (1.5-16.9%, mean 8.3%). These observations suggest that intranuclear ubiquitin immunoreactivity of the pigmented substantia nigra neurons in the midbrain was induced by a fatal severe stress on the central nervous system in asphyxiation and drowning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-11
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Legal Medicine
Volume115
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Asphyxia
Substantia Nigra
Ubiquitin
heat
inclusion
Neurons
Staining and Labeling
Airway Obstruction
Mesencephalon
Group
Brain Stem
Myocardial Infarction
Wounds and Injuries
Heat-Shock Proteins
Ligation
Autopsy
Central Nervous System
Control Groups

Keywords

  • Asphyxiation
  • Drowning
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Pigmented substantia nigra neuron
  • Ubiquitin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

Cite this

Intranuclear ubiquitin immunoreactivity of the pigmented neurons of the substantia nigra in fatal acute mechanical asphyxiation and drowning. / Quan, L.; Zhu, B. L.; Ishida, K.; Oritani, S.; Taniguchi, M.; Fujita, Masaki Q; Maeda, H.

In: International Journal of Legal Medicine, Vol. 115, No. 1, 2001, p. 6-11.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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