International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 126, Issue 3, pp 435–440 | Cite as

Immunohistochemical analysis on cyclooxygenase-2 for wound age determination

  • Yuko Ishida
  • Akihiko Kimura
  • Mizuho Nosaka
  • Yumi Kuninaka
  • Tatsunori Takayasu
  • Wolfgang Eisenmenger
  • Toshikazu Kondo
Original Article


Immunohistochemical study combined with morphometry was carried out to examine the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) using 60 human skin wounds of different ages: group I, 0–4 h (n = 11); II, 8 h–2 days (n = 21); III, 3–9 days (n = 14); and IV, 12–21 days (n = 14). In wound specimens aged 2 h to 2 days, anti-myeloperoxidase-positive neutrophils observed at the wound site expressed immunopositive reaction to COX-2. In wound specimens of more than 3 days, CD68-positive macrophages as well as neutrophils were positively immunostained with anti-COX-2. In group II, all 21 wound samples had COX-2-positive ratios of >40 %, and 15 out of them showed >50 %. In group III, only three wound samples with the postinfliction intervals of 3 days showed positive ratios of 40–50 % and the remaining 11 cases less than 40 %. In groups I and IV, all 25 wound specimens had COX-2-positive ratio of <40 %. With regard to the practical applicability with forensic safety, these observations suggested that a COX-2-positive ratio of >40 % indicated a wound age of 8 h to 3 days. Moreover, COX-2-positive ratios, considerably exceeding a ratio of 50 %, indicate a wound age of 8 h to 2 days. Collectively, COX-2 would be a useful marker for the determination of early wound age.


Cyclooxygenase-2 Wound age determination Immunohistochemistry Forensic pathology 



This study was financially supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A), Young Scientists (A), and Exploratory Research from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of Japan. We sincerely thank Ms. Mariko Kawaguchi for her excellent assistance in preparing this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuko Ishida
    • 1
  • Akihiko Kimura
    • 1
  • Mizuho Nosaka
    • 1
  • Yumi Kuninaka
    • 1
  • Tatsunori Takayasu
    • 2
  • Wolfgang Eisenmenger
    • 3
  • Toshikazu Kondo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Forensic MedicineWakayama Medical UniversityWakayamaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Forensic and Social Environmental MedicineKanazawa University Graduate School of Medical ScienceKanazawaJapan
  3. 3.Institute of Legal MedicineUniversity of MunichMunichGermany

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