Time-dependent expression of skeletal muscle troponin I mRNA in the contused skeletal muscle of rats: a possible marker for wound age estimation

Jun-hong Sun, Ying-yuan Wang, Lei Zhang, Cai-rong Gao, Lin-zhong Zhang, Zheng Guo
International Journal of Legal Medicine 2010, 124 (1): 27-33
To estimate the age of skeletal muscle contusion, the expression of troponin I mRNA in contused skeletal muscle of rats was detected using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A total of 51 Sprague-Dawley male rats were divided into control and contusion groups, and another nine rats received contusion injury after death. At 0.5, 1, 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, and 36 h after contusion, the rats were killed with a lethal dose of pentobarbital. Total RNA was isolated from muscle specimens using the SV Total RNA Isolation System and reverse transcribed into first-strand cDNA. Sequence-specific primers were then used to conduct real-time PCR to analyze the expression levels of sTnI mRNA. At 0.5, 1, and 6 h after contusion, the expression levels of sTnI mRNA decreased to 78.17% (P < 0.05), 41.58% (P < 0.05), and 32.13% of that in the control group, respectively. However, there were no significant changes in the expression levels of sTnI mRNA from 6 to 36 h (P > 0.05) after contusion when normalized to RpL32 expression. The expression levels of sTnI mRNA in the normal and contused skeletal muscle of postmortem rats were about 70% of that in the control group (P < 0.05), and no significant changes in the expression levels of sTnI mRNA in the postmortem contusion group were noted among different time points after injury. This result suggests that determination of sTnI mRNA levels by real-time PCR is useful for the estimation of wound age.

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