Post-mortem Peyer's patches: Their potential application in forensic medicine

Biagio Solarino, Giancarlo Di Vella, Thea Magrone, Felicita Jirillo, Angela Tafaro, Domenico Piscitelli, Michela Casiello, Luigi Amati, Emilio Jirillo, Lucia Tattoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pro-inflammatory mediators hold important functions in human body in response to infection, trauma and vascular disease. However, their action is down regulated by the release of anti-inflammatory cytokines, thus restoring a balance which reflects the immune status of a given individual. Recent studies have stressed out the importance of circulating levels of cytokines for forensic purposes even if there is a lack of studies regarding the role of post-mortem mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue. In this respect, Peyer's patches (PP), represent one of the most important immunological site of the body and the major component of the gut -associated lymphoid tissue. The aim of this study was to evaluate post-mortem PP immune response in 40 serial autopsy cases of people who died from natural and traumatic death. The study examined spontaneous release of the following cytokines by fresh isolated PP cells: interleukin (IL)-12, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, IL-10, IL-6, IL-1β, and IL-8. Results will show that higher levels of TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β, and IL-8 are statistically correlated with the traumatic death group. From a forensic point of view these data demonstrate that fundamental lymphoid organs, such as PP, may have a potential in diagnosing the cause of death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-576
Number of pages7
JournalImmunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


  • Cytokines
  • Forensic Immunopathology
  • Lymphoid tissue
  • Peyers Patches

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pharmacology
  • Toxicology


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