OBJECTIVE: The aim of this review was to explore recent pieces of evidence focused on the use of miRNAs for PMI estimation both in humans and animal experiments, with particular interest on the best miRNAs to use as reference/target markers in different tissues or biological fluids. MiRNAs are innovative biomarkers used in clinical and research field; they appear very attractive, being introduced in forensic research scenarios even for PMI estimation. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data from PubMed and Scopus were analyzed from January 2013 to August 2020. Based on inclusion/exclusion criteria, high-quality articles have been selected to become the subject of this review. RESULTS: A total of 737 papers were found but, after titles/abstracts screening for inclusion criteria and a full-text careful selection, 33 papers were deeply studied. After the exclusion of 19 papers, 15 articles remained. Eight papers dealt with animals (mice/rats), two both with animals and humans (for method validation previously built), while 5 exclusively with humans. Myocardium (6/15) and brain (6/15) were the most studied tissues, respectively in mice/rats and humans. PMI considered was up to 7.5 days in mouse studies and less than 3 days in human models. CONCLUSIONS: Because of their significant stability in both early and long PMI, miRNAs are the cleverest reference markers to be used. Temperature and environmental conditions influence mostly mRNA, while miRNAs are less susceptible to them. The best miRNA to choose depends on its tissue specificity, i.e., miR-9 and miR-125 in brain or miR-1 and miR-133 in skeletal muscle/heart.
Suitability of miRNA assessment in postmortem interval estimation / Montanari, E.; Giorgetti, R.; Busardo, F. P.; Giorgetti, A.; Tagliabracci, A.; Alessandrini, F.. - In: EUROPEAN REVIEW FOR MEDICAL AND PHARMACOLOGICAL SCIENCES. - ISSN 1128-3602. - 25:4(2021), pp. 1774-1787. [10.26355/eurrev_202102_25069]