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Age estimation based on aspartic acid racemization in elastin from the yellow ligaments

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

The yellow ligaments of the spine are characterized by an exceptionally high content of elastin, a protein with a proved longevity in several human tissues. This unique biochemical composition suggested a suitability of yellow ligaments for age estimation based on aspartic acid racemization (AAR), which was tested by determination of AAR in total tissue specimens and in purified elastin from yellow ligaments of individuals of known age. AAR was found to increase with age in both sample sets. The purified elastin samples exhibited a much faster kinetics than the total tissue, with ca. 3.7-4.6-fold higher apparent rates. The relationship between AAR and age was much closer in the purified elastin samples (r =0.96-0.99) and it can therefore be used as a basis for biochemical age estimation. The analysis of total tissue samples cannot be recommended since the AAR values can be strongly influenced even by slight, histologically non-detectable variations in the collagen content. Age estimation based on AAR in purified elastin from yellow ligaments may be a valuable additional tool in the identification of unidentified cadavers, especially in cases where other methods cannot be applied (e.g. no available teeth, body parts).

TidsskriftInternational Journal of Legal Medicine
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)96-101
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - 2003
Eksternt udgivetJa

ID: 232090098