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Tattoo and Body Art – Original Paper

Tattoo Pigments Are Observed in the Kupffer Cells of the Liver Indicating Blood-Borne Distribution of Tattoo Ink

Sepehri M.a, b · Sejersen T.c · Qvortrup K.c · Lerche C.M.b · Serup J.b

Author affiliations

aWound Healing Centre and bDepartment of Dermatology, Bispebjerg University Hospital, and cCore Facility for Integrated Microscopy, CFIM, Panum Institute, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Dermatology 2017;233:86-93

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Tattoo and Body Art – Original Paper

Received: January 25, 2017
Accepted: March 02, 2017
Published online: May 10, 2017
Issue release date: June 2017

Number of Print Pages: 8
Number of Figures: 4
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 1018-8665 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9832 (Online)

For additional information: https://www.karger.com/DRM

Abstract

Aim: Tattoo pigments are deposited in the skin and known to distribute to regional lymph nodes. Tattoo pigments are small particles and may be hypothesized to reach the blood stream and become distributed to peripheral organs. This has not been studied in the past. The aim of the study was to trace tattoo pigments in internal organs in mice extensively tattooed with 2 different tattoo ink products. Material/Methods: Three groups of mice were studied, i.e., 10 tattooed black, 10 tattooed red, and 5 untreated controls. They were tattooed on the entire back with commercial tattoo inks, black and red. Mice were sacrificed after 1 year. Samples were isolated from tattooed skin, lymph nodes, liver, spleen, kidney, and lung. Samples were examined for deposits of tattoo pigments by light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Results: TEM identified intracellular tattoo pigments in the skin and in lymph nodes. TEM in both groups of tattooed mice showed tattoo pigment deposits in the Kupffer cells in the liver, which is a new observation. TEM detected no pigment in other internal organs. Light microscopy showed dense pigment in the skin and in lymph nodes but not in internal organs. Conclusion: The study demonstrated black and red tattoo pigment deposits in the liver; thus, tattoo pigment distributed from the tattooed skin via the blood stream to this important organ of detoxification. The finding adds a new dimension to tattoo pigment distribution in the body, i.e., as observed via the blood in addition to the lymphatic pathway.

© 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel


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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Tattoo and Body Art – Original Paper

Received: January 25, 2017
Accepted: March 02, 2017
Published online: May 10, 2017
Issue release date: June 2017

Number of Print Pages: 8
Number of Figures: 4
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 1018-8665 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9832 (Online)

For additional information: https://www.karger.com/DRM


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