Bexon, K. and Williams, Graham (2015) Body Fluid Specific Micro-RNA Markers: Characterising the Fluctuation of Expression in Vaginal Material when Analysed Over a Full Menstrual Cycle. In: 26th Congress of the International Society for Forensic Genetics, 31st August - 5th September 2015, Poland. (Unpublished)

The identification of body fluids (BF) is vital for progressing alleged sexual assault cases. The capability to do so however, is limited. This is due to the non-existence of presumptive BF identification tests for vaginal material and aspermatozoic seminal fluid. Equally, where blood is present, distinguishing between menstrual and venous blood is also problematic. The characterisation of microRNA: short, stable, non-coding RNA’s which modulate gene expression post transcription present a solution to BF identification problems1, 2. Their precise role in gene regulation suggests the presence of BF specific microRNAs is likely, thus making them a robust tool for BF identification. Screening of numerous microRNA resulted in a set of markers capable of differentiating a full BF panel. The menstrual cycle consist of physiological changes such as ovum
release and the building and detachment of the endometrial lining as well as the fluctuating hormonal changes of oestrogen, progesterone and FSH. These dynamic changes are likely to be regulated by microRNA and therefore their expression level may vary at throughout the cycle. Evidence of these microRNA expression fluctuations throughout the menstrual cycle is currently lacking within the literature. A full BF panel of markers were used to analyse daily vaginal material samples provided by 5 females over the course of 31 days. Expression of microRNA was measured using stem-loop reverse transcription, followed by qPCR. This study presents the first characterisation of microRNA 26th Congress of the International Society for Forensic Genetics
253POSTER ABSTRACTS expression over a full menstrual cycle, demonstrating their robustness as a successful BF identification tool.