Tissue Microarray Analysis Applied to Bone Diagenesis

Rafael Barrios Mello, Maria Regina Regis Silva, Maria Teresa Seixas Alves, Martin Evison, Marco Aurélio Guimarães, Rafaella Arrabaça Francisco, Rafael Dias Astolphi, Edna Sadayo Miazato Iwamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
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Taphonomic processes affecting bone post mortem are important in forensic, archaeological and palaeontological investigations. In this study, the application of tissue microarray (TMA) analysis to a sample of femoral bone specimens from 20 exhumed individuals of known period of burial and age at death is described. TMA allows multiplexing of subsamples, permitting standardized comparative analysis of adjacent sections in 3-D and of representative cross-sections of a large number of specimens. Standard hematoxylin and eosin, periodic acid-Schiff and silver methenamine, and picrosirius red staining, and CD31 and CD34 immunohistochemistry were applied to TMA sections. Osteocyte and osteocyte lacuna counts, percent bone matrix loss, and fungal spheroid element counts could be measured and collagen fibre bundles observed in all specimens. Decalcification with 7 % nitric acid proceeded more rapidly than with 0.5 M EDTA and may offer better preservation of histological and cellular structure. No endothelial cells could be detected using CD31 and CD34 immunohistochemistry. Correlation between osteocytes per lacuna and age at death may reflect reported age-related responses to microdamage. Methodological limitations and caveats, and results of the TMA analysis of post mortem diagenesis in bone are discussed, and implications for DNA survival and recovery considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39987
JournalScientific Reports
Early online date4 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2017


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