LIFE BEYOND LIFE - An Easy Way to Derive Lung Fibroblasts from Cadavers

J Forensic Sci. 2017 Sep;62(5):1339-1344. doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.13445. Epub 2017 Feb 10.


Several protocols have illustrated the possibility of deriving cells, such as fibroblasts, from different organs. These techniques generally concern organs sampled from living persons, but have already been described for cadavers, especially concerning the skin and tendons. We present, for the first time, an easy way to derive pulmonary fibroblasts from a lung tissue sampled from a cadaver and directly culture plated. The fibroblast output was checked daily. We obtained lung fibroblasts from 3 (60%) cadavers and 2 (100%) living persons. The fibroblast output took about 3 days for cells from living persons and took up to 39 days for those from cadavers. We did not clearly identify any parameters that could explain these differences. Nevertheless, these derived cells had the same features as the source cells, especially in terms of morphology and proliferation, and could potentially be used in different research domains such as forensic or regeneration medicine.

Keywords: explant; fibroblast; forensic autopsy; forensic science; lung; postmortem delay; senescence.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cadaver
  • Cell Culture Techniques*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA Fingerprinting
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / cytology*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Lung / cytology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Young Adult