International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 132, Issue 5, pp 1375–1380 | Cite as

Forensic application of epidermal AQP3 expression to determination of wound vitality in human compressed neck skin

  • Yuko Ishida
  • Yumi Kuninaka
  • Mizuho Nosaka
  • Emi Shimada
  • Satoshi Hata
  • Hiroki Yamamoto
  • Yumiko Hashizume
  • Akihiko Kimura
  • Fukumi Furukawa
  • Toshikazu KondoEmail author
Original Article


In forensic practices, it is often difficult to determine wound vitality in compression marks of the neck with naked eyes. AQP1 and AQP3 are the major water channels associated with skin. Thus, we immunohistochemically examined the expression of AQP1 and AQP3 in neck skin samples to discuss their forensic applicability to determination of the wound vitality. Skin samples were obtained from 56 neck compression cases (hanging, 35 cases; strangulation, 21 cases). The intact skin from the same individual was taken as a control. Although AQP1 was immnunostained in dermal capillaries in both the neck compression marks and intact skin samples, there was no significant difference in the magnitude of AQP1 expression between both groups. On the contrary, AQP3-positive signals could be faintly detected in uninjured skin samples, and the positive signals seemed more intense in the keratinocytes in compression regions. Morphometrical analyses revealed that the ratio of AQP3-expressed keratinocytes was significantly enhanced in neck compression regions, compared with control groups. From the viewpoints of forensic pathology, immunohistochemical detection of AQP3 in the neck skin can be considered a valuable marker to diagnose the trace of antemortem compression.


AQP1 AQP3 Compression Immunohistochemistry Forensic pathology 



We thank Ms. Mariko Kawaguchi for her excellent assistance in the preparation of this manuscript.

Funding information

This study was financially supported in part by Grants-in-Aids for Scientific Research (A, 25253055), (B, 15H04798) and (C, 17K09274) from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Supplementary material

414_2018_1780_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (658 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 658 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuko Ishida
    • 1
  • Yumi Kuninaka
    • 1
  • Mizuho Nosaka
    • 1
  • Emi Shimada
    • 1
  • Satoshi Hata
    • 1
  • Hiroki Yamamoto
    • 1
  • Yumiko Hashizume
    • 1
  • Akihiko Kimura
    • 1
  • Fukumi Furukawa
    • 1
    • 2
  • Toshikazu Kondo
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Forensic MedicineWakayama Medical UniversityWakayamaJapan
  2. 2.Takatsuki Red Cross Hospital, JapanTakatsukiJapan

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