Time- and Temperature-Dependent Changes in CytochromecOxidase Activity and Cyanide Concentration in Excised Mice Organs and Mice Cadavers

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Postmortem stability of cyanide biomarkers is often disputed. We assessed the time and temperature-dependent changes in cytochrome c oxidase (CCO) activity and cyanide concentration in various organs of mice succumbing to cyanide. Immediately after death, excised mice organs and mice cadavers were stored at room temperature (35°C ± 5°C) or in frozen storage (−20°C ± 2°C). At various times after death, CCO activity and cyanide concentrations were measured in excised mice organs or organs removed from mice cadavers. The study revealed that (i) measuring both the biomarkers in mice cadavers was more reliable compared to excised mice organs, (ii) measuring temporal CCO activity and cyanide concentration in vital organs from mice cadavers (room temperature) was reliable up to 24 h, and (iii) CCO activity in the brain and lungs and cyanide concentration in organs from mice cadavers (frozen) were measurable beyond 21 days. This study will be helpful in postmortem determination of cyanide poisoning.

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