Estimation of wound age and VCAM-1 in human skin
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- Dreßler, J., Bachmann, L., Koch, R. et al. Int J Leg Med (1999) 112: 159. doi:10.1007/s004140050223
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To estimate the age of skin wounds, the endothelial adhesion molecule VCAM-1 (CD 106) was detected in paraffin sections after autoclaving and using the ABC technique. The percentage of VCAM-1 positive blood vessels was determined after the blood vessels had been marked with PECAM-1 (CD 31). Low positive staining reactions were observed for VCAM-1 on endothelial cells of uninjured skin in 18% of the samples. In injured skin, 51% of the cases investigated showed a VCAM-1 expression. Strong positive staining reactions were observed 3 h at the earliest and 3.5 days at the latest after the time of injury. The immunohistochemical results for VCAM-1 differed significantly between the injured and uninjured skin (P < 0.01). In a few cases VCAM-1 was detected (n = 6) at low intensity in postmortem skin wounds and a moderate to strong expression of VCAM-1 is indicative of the vitality of the wound. The detection of VCAM-1 can be used for estimating the age of wounds in forensic applications if the degree of expression of further adhesion molecules, especially that of selectins, is taken into account.