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Determination of Adenosine Phosphates in Rat Gastrocnemius at Various Postmortem Intervals Using High Performance Liquid Chromatography

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Although the change in adenosine phosphate levels in muscles may contribute to the development of rigor mortis, the relationship between their levels and the onset and development of rigor mortis has not been well elucidated. In the current study, levels of the adenosine phosphates including adenosine triphosphate (ATP), adenosine diphosphate (ADP), and adenosine monophosphate (AMP) in gastrocnemius at various postmortem intervals of 180 rats from different death modes were detected by high performance liquid chromatography. The results showed that the levels of ATP and ADP significantly decreased along with the postmortem period of rats from different death mode whereas the AMP level remained the same. In addition, it was found that changes in the ATP levels in muscles after death correlated well with the development of rigor mortis. Therefore, the ATP level could serve as a reference parameter for the deduction of rigor mortis in forensic science.
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Keywords: adenosine diphosphate; adenosine monophosphate; adenosine triphosphate; forensic science; high performance liquid chromatography; rigor mortis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: West China Preclinical Medical and Forensic Medical School of Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610014, China. 2: School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong SAR.

Publication date: 2010-09-01

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