Teeth have proven to be a reliable source of DNA for forensic analysis as the pulp is rich in cells and protected from damaging factors and contamination by dental hard tissues. The pilot study aims to evaluate the feasibility of Next-Generation sequencing analysis on dental pulp to detect genetic mutations in DNA caused by post-mortem cell necrosis. We used a 56-gene oncopanel kit on a sample of 17 teeth extracted from living patients. Time of the tooth avulsion was assumed as death of the individual and Post-mortem Interval (PMI) was the time elapse since the DNA extraction and analysis. Days and Accumulated Degree Days (ADD) were assumed as measures of PMI that ranged between 0 to 34 days. Only 38 of the 56 considered genes proved to be affected by mutations (101), thus being of forensic interest. More specifically, 14 mutations occurred only in a specific range of PMIs/ADD; 67 were detected (alone or as clusters of the same gene) at specific PMI/ADD; 22 occurred at every PMI/ADD, except for some specific intervals. Since dental pulp was not targeted by any oncological diseases and all teeth were intact, vital, and from patients with unremarkable medical history, it could be assumed that mutations were due to post-mortem DNA changes induced by pulp death and the increasing time elapse since death. This pilot study found encouraging results in the application of NGS analysis on dental DNA, especially for PMIs of several days for which the traditional tools for PMI estimation have limitations. Further research on a larger sample of PMI and validation research on a larger sample of PMI and validation of the results are indeed necessary.

Dental DNA as an Indicator of Post-Mortem Interval (PMI): A Pilot Research / Ilenia Bianchi, Simone Grassi, Francesca Castiglione, Caterina Bartoli, Bianca De Saint Pierre, Martina Focardi , Antonio Oliva, Vilma Pinchi. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES. - ISSN 1661-6596. - ELETTRONICO. - 23:(2022), pp. 12896.1-12896.14.

Dental DNA as an Indicator of Post-Mortem Interval (PMI): A Pilot Research

Ilenia Bianchi
;
Simone Grassi;Francesca Castiglione;Martina Focardi;Antonio Oliva;Vilma Pinchi
2022

Abstract

Teeth have proven to be a reliable source of DNA for forensic analysis as the pulp is rich in cells and protected from damaging factors and contamination by dental hard tissues. The pilot study aims to evaluate the feasibility of Next-Generation sequencing analysis on dental pulp to detect genetic mutations in DNA caused by post-mortem cell necrosis. We used a 56-gene oncopanel kit on a sample of 17 teeth extracted from living patients. Time of the tooth avulsion was assumed as death of the individual and Post-mortem Interval (PMI) was the time elapse since the DNA extraction and analysis. Days and Accumulated Degree Days (ADD) were assumed as measures of PMI that ranged between 0 to 34 days. Only 38 of the 56 considered genes proved to be affected by mutations (101), thus being of forensic interest. More specifically, 14 mutations occurred only in a specific range of PMIs/ADD; 67 were detected (alone or as clusters of the same gene) at specific PMI/ADD; 22 occurred at every PMI/ADD, except for some specific intervals. Since dental pulp was not targeted by any oncological diseases and all teeth were intact, vital, and from patients with unremarkable medical history, it could be assumed that mutations were due to post-mortem DNA changes induced by pulp death and the increasing time elapse since death. This pilot study found encouraging results in the application of NGS analysis on dental DNA, especially for PMIs of several days for which the traditional tools for PMI estimation have limitations. Further research on a larger sample of PMI and validation research on a larger sample of PMI and validation of the results are indeed necessary.
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Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions
Ilenia Bianchi, Simone Grassi, Francesca Castiglione, Caterina Bartoli, Bianca De Saint Pierre, Martina Focardi , Antonio Oliva, Vilma Pinchi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1287244
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