Introduction Due to its peculiar anatomy and physiology, the pericardial fluid is a biological matrix of particular interest in the forensic field. Despite this, the available literature has mainly focused on post-mortem biochemistry and forensic toxicology, while to the best of authors' knowledge post-mortem metabolomics has never been applied. Similarly, estimation of the time since death or post-mortem interval based on pericardial fluids has still rarely been attempted.ObjectivesWe applied a metabolomic approach based on H-1 nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to ascertain the feasibility of monitoring post-mortem metabolite changes on human pericardial fluids with the aim of building a multivariate regression model for post-mortem interval estimation.MethodsPericardial fluid samples were collected in 24 consecutive judicial autopsies, in a time frame ranging from 16 to 170 h after death. The only exclusion criterion was the quantitative and/or qualitative alteration of the sample. Two different extraction protocols were applied for low molecular weight metabolites selection, namely ultrafiltration and liquid-liquid extraction. Our metabolomic approach was based on the use of H-1 nuclear magnetic resonance and multivariate statistical data analysis.ResultsThe pericardial fluid samples treated with the two experimental protocols did not show significant differences in the distribution of the metabolites detected. A post-mortem interval estimation model based on 18 pericardial fluid samples was validated with an independent set of 6 samples, giving a prediction error of 33-34 h depending on the experimental protocol used. By narrowing the window to post-mortem intervals below 100 h, the prediction power of the model was significantly improved with an error of 13-15 h depending on the extraction protocol. Choline, glycine, ethanolamine, and hypoxanthine were the most relevant metabolites in the prediction model.ConclusionThe present study, although preliminary, shows that PF samples collected from a real forensic scenario represent a biofluid of interest for post-mortem metabolomics, with particular regard to the estimation of the time since death.

Metabolomics investigation of post-mortem human pericardial fluid

Chighine, Alberto
Primo
;
Ferino, Giulio;Nioi, Matteo;d’Aloja, Ernesto
Penultimo
;
Locci, Emanuela
Ultimo
2023-01-01

Abstract

Introduction Due to its peculiar anatomy and physiology, the pericardial fluid is a biological matrix of particular interest in the forensic field. Despite this, the available literature has mainly focused on post-mortem biochemistry and forensic toxicology, while to the best of authors' knowledge post-mortem metabolomics has never been applied. Similarly, estimation of the time since death or post-mortem interval based on pericardial fluids has still rarely been attempted.ObjectivesWe applied a metabolomic approach based on H-1 nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to ascertain the feasibility of monitoring post-mortem metabolite changes on human pericardial fluids with the aim of building a multivariate regression model for post-mortem interval estimation.MethodsPericardial fluid samples were collected in 24 consecutive judicial autopsies, in a time frame ranging from 16 to 170 h after death. The only exclusion criterion was the quantitative and/or qualitative alteration of the sample. Two different extraction protocols were applied for low molecular weight metabolites selection, namely ultrafiltration and liquid-liquid extraction. Our metabolomic approach was based on the use of H-1 nuclear magnetic resonance and multivariate statistical data analysis.ResultsThe pericardial fluid samples treated with the two experimental protocols did not show significant differences in the distribution of the metabolites detected. A post-mortem interval estimation model based on 18 pericardial fluid samples was validated with an independent set of 6 samples, giving a prediction error of 33-34 h depending on the experimental protocol used. By narrowing the window to post-mortem intervals below 100 h, the prediction power of the model was significantly improved with an error of 13-15 h depending on the extraction protocol. Choline, glycine, ethanolamine, and hypoxanthine were the most relevant metabolites in the prediction model.ConclusionThe present study, although preliminary, shows that PF samples collected from a real forensic scenario represent a biofluid of interest for post-mortem metabolomics, with particular regard to the estimation of the time since death.
2023
1H NMR metabolomics; Extraction protocol; Human pericardial fluid; PMI; Post-mortem; Time since death
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/394106
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