Advances in Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Research Article
Adv. Anim. Vet. Sci. 4 (5): 258 - 265
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Mayada Ragab Farag1*, Kuldeep Dhama2

1Forensic Medicine and Toxicology Department, Veterinary Medicine Faculty, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44511, Egypt. 2Division of Pathology, ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareilly, 243122, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Abstract | In this study, the impact of electrocution on apoptosis and DNA damage was investigated to act as possible biomarker for electric shock mediated deaths. A total of 40 adult male rats were divided into two equal groups - electrocuted (E) and Control (C), which were further sub-divided into two sub-groups. The main treatment group (E) was electrocuted until death by a 220 V alternating current (AC) and the blood and heart samples were collected immediately after electrocution from the first sub-group [E(0h)] and 1 h postmortem (PM) from second sub-group [E(1h)]. The animals of control group were killed humanely by cervical dislocation, and the samples were collected immediately after death from the first subgroup [C(0h)] and 1h after PM from the second subgroup [C(1h)]. Creatine phosphokinase (CPK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activities and malonaldehyde (MDA) contents were significantly found to be elevated in rats of electrocuted group [E(0h)] and their levels showed higher elevations in [E(1h)] group. Exposure of rats to electric current till death resulted in a highly significant increase in DNA fragmentation percent immediately or 1h of PM. The expressions of Bcl-2, Bcl-xl were down-regulated while Bax expression was up-regulated in hearts of electrocuted rats in comparison with control rats, influenced by cause of death and time of sampling. The heart taken from C(0h) and C(1h) groups showed normal architecture while more extensive damage appeared in E(0h) and E(1h) groups. In conclusion, electrocution caused DNA damage and apoptosis in cardiac muscles and these findings could be used as useful biomarkers to support biochemical analysis and histopathological examination in confirming the electrocution as the principle cause of death.

Keywords  | electrocution, apoptosis, Bcl-2 family, DNA fragmentation