The alterations in adenosine nucleotides and lactic acid in striated muscles of rats during Rigor mortis following death with drowning or cervical dislocation.
ABSTRACT In this study, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), adenosine diphosphate (ADP), adenosine monophosphate (AMP) and lactic acid in the muscles of masseter, triceps, and quadriceps obtained from right and left sides of Spraque-Dawley rats following death were investigated. The samples were taken immediately and 120 minutes after death occurred. The rats were killed either by cervical dislocation or drowning. ATP concentrations in the muscles of masseter, triceps, and quadriceps were lower in samples obtained 120 minutes after death than in those obtained immediately after death. ADP, AMP, and lactic acid concentrations in these muscles were higher in samples obtained 120 minutes after death than those obtained immediately after death. A positive linear correlation was determined between ATP and ADP concentrations in quadriceps muscles of the rats killed with cervical dislocation and in triceps muscles of the rats killed with drowning. When rats killed with cervical dislocation and with drowning were compared, ADP, AMP, and lactic acid concentrations were lower in the former than in the latter for both times (immediately and 120 minutes after death occurred). In the case of drowning, ATP is consumed faster because of hard exercise or severe physical activity, resulting in a faster rigor mortis. Higher lactic acid levels were determined in muscles of the rats killed with drowning than the other group. In the control and electric shock rats, ATP decreased in different levels in the three different muscle types mentioned above in control group, being much decline in masseter and then in quadriceps. This may be caused by lower mass and less glycogen storage of masseter. No different ATP levels were measured in drowning group with respect to the muscle type possibly because of the severe activity of triceps and quadriceps and because of smaller mass of masseter. One can conclude that the occurrence of rigor mortis is closely related to the mode of death.