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Betz, P.; Nerlich, A.; Tübel, J.; Penning, R.; Eisenmenger, Wolfgang (1993): Localization of tenascin in human skin wounds. An immunohistochemical study. In: International Journal of Legal Medicine, Vol. 105, No. 6: pp. 325-328


A total of 56 surgically treated human skin wounds with a wound age between 8h and 7 months were investigated. Tenascin was visualized by immunohistochemistry and appeared first in the wound area pericellularly around fibroblastic cells approximately 2 days after wounding. A network-like interstitial positive staining pattern was first detectable in 3-day-old skin wounds. In all wounds with an age of 5 days or more, intensive reactivity for tenascin could be observed in the lesional area (dermal-epidermal junction, wound edge, areas of bleeding). In wounds with an age of more than approximately 1.5 months no positive staining occurred in the scar tissue. In conclusion, for forensic purposes, positive staining for tenascin restricted to the pericellular area of fibroblastic cells indicates a wound age of at least 2 days. Network-like structures appear after approximately 3 days or more. Since tenascin seems to be regularly detectable in skin wounds older than 5 days, the lack of a positive reaction in a sufficient number of specimens indicates a wound age of less than 5 days. The lack of a positive reaction in the granulation tissue of wounds with advanced wound age indicates a survival time of more than about 1.5 months, but a positive staining in older wounds cannot be excluded.