Technical Notes: PDF OnlyPostmortem Metabolic Indices of Antemortem Adrenergic StimulationIanuzzo, C. D. Ph.D.; Chen, V. Ph.D.; Spalding, M. J. M.Sc.; Patel, P. M.Sc.; Elcombe, D. M.D.Author Information Department of Biology and Physical Education. York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: March 1989 - Volume 10 - Issue 1 - p 42-46 Buy Abstract Tissue lactate concentration has been reported to be a useful postmortem indicator of antemortem awareness of mortal danger. The purpose of this study was to determine further whether selected tissue metabolites could be used as postmortem markers of antemortem adrenergic stress. Sprague-Dawley albino rats were anesthetized with pentobarbitol and then injected with 2.0 mg kg-1 i.p. epinephrine hydrochloride to induce experimentally a severe sympathetic response that may be associated with the awareness of mortal danger; 20 min after the injection of epinephrine, when the metabolic response was at its peak, the animals were killed by exsanguination. Samples of the following tissues were removed immediately prior to death (0 h) and 48 h postmortem: soleus, plantaris, kidney medulla, kidney cortex, liver, and heart. These samples were analyzed for glycogen, lactate, ATP, creatine phosphate, pH, and total protein concentration. Significant differences in lactate concentration were observed in all tissues except soleus at 0 h in the epinephrine-injected animals. Specific tissues also had significant reductions in glycogen, ATP, and creatine phosphate concentrations at 0 h. At 48 h postmortem, however, only the liver and soleus lactate concentrations were significantly different from the 48-h control samples. It is unlikely that these small differences found in some tissues at 48 h postmortem would be detected in an uncontrolled accident situation. We concluded from these findings that these selected tissue metabolites are not useful as long-term postmortem indicators of antemortem adrenergically induced hypermetabolism. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.