Neuronal apoptosis following human brain injury
Journal Paper/Review - Nov 18, 2003
Hausmann Roland, Biermann T, Wiest I, Tübel J, Betz P
Neuronal apoptosis has been investigated in paraffin-embedded brain tissue from 103 individuals who had sustained blunt head injury by use of the in situ nick translation (ISNT) technique. In order to provide reliable data for a forensic wound age estimation, a quantitative morphometric analysis was performed. Apoptotic neuronal cells could be detected in a cortical contusion with a wound age of 45 min at the earliest and in the majority of the cases with postinfliction intervals up to 2 weeks, numerous ISNT-positive cells were found adjacent to the traumatically injured area. The presented data indicate that neuronal apoptosis peaks at about 1 day and persists for at least 22 weeks after blunt head injury. The time-dependent occurrence of apoptotic cells can contribute to a forensic timing of cortical contusions and complements other immunohistochemical parameters, especially in the early postinfliction interval.