Immunohistochemical study of myoglobin and oxidative injury-related markers in the kidney of methamphetamine abusers

Leg Med (Tokyo). 2003 Mar;5(1):42-8. doi: 10.1016/s1344-6223(03)00005-1.


It is known that methamphetamine (MA) causes rhabdomyolysis, myoglobinuria, and acute renal failure. We conducted an immunohistochemical study on the kidney of 22 forensic autopsy cases in which MA had been detected. Myoglobin was positive in 17 cases. The concentration of the blood MA in the myoglobin-positive cases (8.39+/-3.43 micromol/dl) was higher than -negative cases (0.198+/-0.076 micromol/dl). And, the 70 kDa heat shock protein (HSP70), 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OH-dG), 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4-HNE), and Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD) were also stained positively in five, ten, 11, nine cases of examined, respectively. In addition, 80% of HSP70-positive cases were myoglobin-positive. Myoglobin was also observed in 60% of 8-OH-dG-positive, in 82% of 4-HNE-positive, and in 78% of SOD-positive cases, respectively. Therefore, myoglobin rather than MA itself might induce oxidative damage. From these results, it was considered that MA abuse had caused the skeletal muscle damage before death. In forensic autopsy cases of drug abusers, the antemortem situation is not often known. The present research suggested that in addition to the measurement of the concentration of MA, immunohistochemical staining of myoglobin, HSP70, 8-OH-dG, 4-HNE, and SOD offers important information for the diagnosis of MA poisoning.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • 8-Hydroxy-2'-Deoxyguanosine
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aldehydes / blood
  • Aldehydes / urine
  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / metabolism*
  • Autopsy
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Cause of Death
  • Deoxyguanosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Deoxyguanosine / blood
  • Deoxyguanosine / urine
  • Female
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / blood
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / urine
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kidney / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Methamphetamine / poisoning*
  • Middle Aged
  • Myoglobin / analysis*
  • Myoglobin / blood
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Superoxide Dismutase / blood
  • Superoxide Dismutase / urine


  • Aldehydes
  • Biomarkers
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Myoglobin
  • Methamphetamine
  • 8-Hydroxy-2'-Deoxyguanosine
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Deoxyguanosine
  • 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal