Forensic pathological study on temporal appearance of dendritic cells in skin wounds

  • Yumi Kuninaka
  • Yuko Ishida
  • Mizuho Nosaka
  • Emi Shimada
  • Akihiko Kimura
  • Mitsunori Ozaki
  • Satoshi Hata
  • Tomomi Michiue
  • Hiroki Yamamoto
  • Fukumi Furukawa
  • Wolfgang Eisenmenger
  • Toshikazu KondoEmail author
Original Article


Dendritic cells (DCs) can essentially contribute to innate and adaptive immune system in various organs. A double-color immunofluorescence analysis was carried out with anti-CD11c and -HLA-DRα antibodies to detect DCs in 53 skin wounds (their postinfliction intervals: group I, 0–3 days; group II, 4–7 days; group III, 9–14 days; and group IV, 17–21 days). CD11c+HLA-DRα+ DCs were first observed in skin wounds with postinfliction intervals of 3 days, and the DC numbers were found to be elevated in skin wounds with the subsequent increase in postinfliction intervals. Semi-quantitative morphometric analyses showed that the DC number was the highest in the 12-day-old wound. More than 50 DCs were present in 8 of 10 samples (80%) in group II and 14 of 16 samples (87.5%) in group III, and there was no difference between the two groups. Thus, the presence of DCs in a skin wound was possibly estimated as postinfliction intervals of at least 3 days. Furthermore, when a skin wound contained > 50 DCs, its age would be judged as 4–14 days. Collectively, the appearance of DCs in human skin wounds may provide useful information in determining the age of a wound.


Forensic pathology Dendritic cells Wound age determination 



We sincerely thank Ms. Mariko Kawaguchi for her excellent assistance in preparing this manuscript.

Funding information

This study was financially supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) and Exploratory Research from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, and Culture of Japan.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Japanese Society for Forensic Pathology.

Informed consent

No informed consent was required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yumi Kuninaka
    • 1
  • Yuko Ishida
    • 1
  • Mizuho Nosaka
    • 1
  • Emi Shimada
    • 1
  • Akihiko Kimura
    • 1
  • Mitsunori Ozaki
    • 2
  • Satoshi Hata
    • 1
  • Tomomi Michiue
    • 1
  • Hiroki Yamamoto
    • 1
  • Fukumi Furukawa
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Eisenmenger
    • 3
  • Toshikazu Kondo
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Forensic MedicineWakayama Medical UniversityWakayamaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Neurological SurgeryWakayama Medical UniversityWakayamaJapan
  3. 3.Institute of Legal MedicineUniversity of MunichMunichGermany

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