Estimation of age of human cadavers by immunohistochemical assessment of advanced glycation end products in the hippocampus

Histopathology. 2001 Mar;38(3):217-20. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2559.2001.01059.x.


Aims: Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are known to accumulate in long-lived tissue proteins during normal ageing. In this study, we examined the expression of AGEs in human hippocampus using immunohistochemistry and determined its utility for estimating the age of cadavers of unknown age.

Methods and results: Hippocampus tissues were obtained at autopsy from 31 individuals, including 10 fire victims, aged 0--96 years within 3 days postmortem. Immunostaining using anti-AGE antibody demonstrated that the perikarya of pyramidal neurones in the hippocampus was immunoreactive for the anti-AGE antibody, and the immunoreactivity was increased with age. Quantitative analysis of the AGE-immunoreactivity in the pyramidal neurones of the CA4 region revealed a significant correlation between the AGE-immunoreactivity and the age in nonfire death cases with a correlation coefficient of 0.91 (P < 0.01). The significant correlation could be obtained even in fire death cases affected by the unusual environmental condition.

Conclusions: These results suggest that the immunohistochemical analysis of AGEs in human hippocampus may be useful for the age estimation of cadavers with unknown age.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging*
  • Cadaver*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced / analysis*
  • Hippocampus / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pyramidal Cells / chemistry


  • Glycation End Products, Advanced