Betz, P. and Nerlich, A. and Wilske, J. and Tübel, J. and Penning, R. and Eisenmenger, Wolfgang
Immunohistochemical localization of collagen types I and VI in human skin wounds.
In: International Journal of Legal Medicine, Vol. 106, No. 1: pp. 31-34
A total of 74 human skin wounds were investigated and collagen types I and VI were localized in the wound area by immunohistochemistry. Collagen type I appeared in the form of ramifying string-like structures after approximately 5–6 days, but positive reactions in the form of a spot-like staining around isolated fibroblasts also occurred in a skin wound aged 4 days. Collagen VI was detectable after a post-infliction interval of at least 3 days showing a strongly positive reacting network associated with fibroblasts in the wound area. Both collagens appeared almost constantly after a wound age of 6–7 clays and could also be found in wounds aged a few months. Therefore, although a positive reaction for collagen type I in the form of string-like and ramifying structures around wound fibroblasts indicates a wound age of at least 5–6 days, a spot-like positive staining for collagen type I cannot exclude a wound age of at least 4 days. A positive staining for collagen type VI represents a post-infliction time of 3 days or more. The almost constant appearance of these collagen types suggests that negative results in a sufficient number of specimens indicate a wound age of less than 6–7 days, but cannot completely exclude longer post-infliction intervals. Since collagen type I and VI are also found in the granulation/scar tissue of lesions with advanced wound age, the immunohistochemical analysis of these proteins provides no further information for an age determination of older skin wounds.