The rate of RNA degradation in human dental pulp reveals post-mortem interval
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Post-mortem interval (PMI) is the amount of time elapsed since the time of death. Over the years, many methods were developed to assess PMI, but their precision and time frame of applicability are often limited. Our present pilot study aimed to prove if RNA degradation of human dental pulp can be used for PMI estimation. RNA was isolated from the pulps of healthy wisdom teeth and premolars. RNA degradation was determined as RNA integrity number (RIN) with Agilent Bioanalyzer and subsequently by amplification of different length products by PCR after reverse transcription. The RNA integrity analysis allowed us to determine the time of post-mortem interval with high confidence level in the first 21 days. With the PCR-based method, we were able to perform a crude estimation of incubation time of teeth between 20 and 42 days post extraction. These results show that this method might be a promising new tool for PMI estimation despite the limitations.
KeywordsForensic dentistry Microfluidics Polymerase chain reaction Nucleic acids
The authors would like to express their thanks to Dr. László Tibor Németh and Dr. Luca Cserna for the collection of samples and to Andrea Valasek for her the help with the Agilent Bioanalyzer.
Compliance with ethical standards
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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