Archives of Dermatological Research

, Volume 301, Issue 7, pp 539–547

Influence of a commercial tattoo ink on protein production in human fibroblasts

  • Mirella Falconi
  • Gabriella Teti
  • Michela Zago
  • Angela Galanzi
  • Lorenzo Breschi
  • Susi Pelotti
  • Alessandra Ruggeri
  • Giovanni Mazzotti
Original Paper

Abstract

Tattooing is an ancient art and is still widely practiced all over the world. Since the biocompatibility of tattoo dyes has not been well researched, we studied the toxicity of a commercial tattoo ink, commonly used in tattoo lab and esthetic centers, on human fibroblasts. To test cell viability, MTT assays were carried out and scanning electron microscopy to visualize changes in the cell surface after the dye exposure was performed. A possible influence of the pigment on the expression of procollagen α1 type I protein was visualized by western blotting analysis. The results showed a reduction in cell viability, and electron microscopy demonstrated an unmodified cell surface completely covered by pigment particles. Western blotting analysis demonstrated a clear interference of the pigment on the expression of procollagen α1 type I protein. These data demonstrated that the commercial tattoo dye has a time-dependent effect on protein expression. A possible connection of the influence of the tattoo ink with clinical effects is discussed.

Keywords

Human fibroblasts In vitro testing Tattoo pigment Tattoo toxicity 

References

  1. 1.
    Baumler W, Eibler ET, Hohenleutner U et al (2000) Q-switch laser and tattoo pigments: first results of the chemical and photophysical analysis of 41 compounds. Lasers Surg Med 26:13–21. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1096-9101(2000)26:1<13::AID-LSM4>3.0.CO;2-S PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Beute TC, Miller CH, Timko YAL, Ross EV (2008) In vitro spectral analysis of tattoo pigments. Dermatol Surg 34:508–516. doi:10.1111/j.1524-4725.2007.34096.x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Birnie AJ, Kulkarni K, Varma S (2006) Basal cell carcinoma arising in a tattoo. Clin Exp Dermatol 31:820–821. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2230.2006.02201.x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Biro L, Klein WP (1967) Unusual complications of mercurial (cinnabar) tattoo. Generalized eczematous eruption following laceration of a tattoo. Arch Dermatol 96:165–167. doi:10.1001/archderm.96.2.165 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bradford MM (1976) A rapid and sensitive method for the quantitation of microgram quantities of protein utilizing the principle of protein-dye binding. Anal Biochem 72:248–254. doi:10.1016/0003-2697(76)90527-3 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chave TA, Mortimer NJ, Johnston GA (2004) Simultaneous pseudolymphomatous and lichenoid tattoo reactions triggered by retattooing. Clin Exp Dermatol 29:197–199. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2230.2004.01459.x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cui W, McGregor DH, Stark SP et al (2007) Pseudoepitheliomatous hyperplasia—an unusual reaction following tattoo: report of a case and review of the literature. Int J Dermatol 46:743–745. doi:10.1111/j.1365-4632.2007.03150.x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cui Y, Spann AP, Couch LH et al (2004) Photodecomposition of pigment yellow 74, a pigment used in tattoo inks. Photochem Photobiol 80:175–184. doi:10.1562/2004-04-06-RA-136.1 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Engel D, Schroeder HE, Gay R (1980) Fine structure of cultured human gingival fibroblasts and demonstration of simultaneous synthesis of types I and III collagen. Arch Oral Biol 25:283–296. doi:10.1016/0003-9969(80)90037-0 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Engel E, Spannberger A, Vasold R, König B (2007) Photochemical cleavage of a tattoo pigment by UVB radiation or natural sunlight. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges 5:583–589. doi:10.1111/j.1610-0387.2007.06333.x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Falconi M, Teti G, Zago M et al (2007) Effects of HEMA on type I collagen protein in human gingival fibroblasts. Cell Biol Toxicol 23:313–322. doi:10.1007/s10565-006-0148-3 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fujita H, Nishii Y, Yamashita K, Kawamata S et al (1988) The uptake and long-term storage of India ink particles and latex beads by fibroblasts in the dermis and subcutis of mice, with special regards to the non-inflammatory defense reaction by fibroblasts. Arch Histol Cytol 51:285–294. doi:10.1679/aohc.51.285 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gallo R, Parodi A, Cozzani E (1998) Allergic reaction to India ink in a black tattoo. Contact Dermatitis 38:346–347. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0536.1998.tb05779.x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Goldberg HM (1996) Tattoo allergy. Plast Reconstr Surg 98:1315–1316. doi:10.1097/00006534-199612000-00040 PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Goldenberg G, Patel S, Patel MJ (2008) Eruptive squamous cell carcinomas, keratoacanthoma type, arising in a multicolor tattoo. J Cutan Pathol 35:62–64. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0560.2007.00869.x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gopee NV, Cui Y, Olson G et al (2005) Response of mouse skin to tattooing: use of SKH-1 mice as a surrogate model for human tattooing. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 209:145–158. doi:10.1016/j.taap.2005.04.003 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Gutermuth J, Hein R, Fend F et al (2007) Cutaneous pseudolymphoma arising after tattoo placement. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 21:566–567PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Iida J, McCarthy JB (2007) Expression of collagenase-1 (MMP-1) promotes melanoma growth through the generation of active transforming growth factor-beta. Melanoma Res 17:205–213. doi:10.1097/CMR.0b013e3282a660ad PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kluger N, Minier-Thoumin C, Plantier F (2008) Keratoacanthoma occurring within the red dye of a tattoo. J Cutan Pathol 35:504–507. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0560.2007.00833.x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Labrousse AL, Ntayi C, Hornebeck W (2004) Stromal reaction in cutaneous melanoma. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol 49:269–275. doi:10.1016/j.critrevonc.2003.10.007 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Leblond CP (1989) Synthesis and secretion of collagen by cells of connective tissue, bone, and dentin. Anat Rec 224:23–38. doi:10.1002/ar.1092240204 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Lee YT, Craig JR (1984) Melanoma in a tattoo of the breast. J Surg Oncol 25:100–101. doi:10.1002/jso.2930250210 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Lehmann G, Pierchalla P (1988) Tattooing dyes. Derm Beruf Umwelt 36:152–156PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Long GE, Rickman LS (1994) Infectious complications of tattoos. Clin Infect Dis 18:610–619PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Lovell CR, Smolenski KA, Duance VC et al (1987) Type I and III collagen content and fibre distribution in normal human skin during ageing. Br J Dermatol 117:419–428. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2133.1987.tb04921.x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Mann R, Klingmuller G (1981) Electron-microscopic investigation of tattoos in rabbit skin. Arch Dermatol Res 271:367–372. doi:10.1007/BF00406680 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Mariwalla K, Dover JS (2006) The use of lasers for decorative tattoo removal. Skin Ther Lett 11:8–11Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Mortimer NJ, Chave TA, Johnston GA (2003) Red tattoo reactions. Clin Exp Dermatol 28:508–510. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2230.2003.01358.x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Müller KM, Schmitz I, Hupe-Nörenberg L (2002) Reaction patterns to cutaneous particulate and ornamental tattoos. Pathologe 23:46–53. doi:10.1007/s00292-001-0507-z PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Munoz C, Guilabert A, Mascarò JM Jr (2005) An embossed tattoo. Clin Exp Dermatol 31:309–310. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2230.2005.01956.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Olszowski T (2003) Evaluation of toxic doses of fluorine on expression of collagen genes and synthesis of some collagen proteins in rat skin. Ann Acad Med Stetin 49:45–62PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Paradisi A, Capizzi R, De Simone C et al (2006) Malignant melanoma in a tattoo: case report and review of the literature. Melanoma Res 16:375–376. doi:10.1097/01.cmr.0000222591.75858.fb PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Rosenthal EL, Zhang W, Talbert M et al (2005) Extracellular matrix metalloprotease inducer-expressing head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells promote fibroblast-mediated type I collagen degradation in vitro. Mol Cancer Res 3:195–202PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Sato Y, Ohshima T, Kondo T (1999) Regulatory role of endogenous interleukin-10 in cutaneous inflammatory response of murine wound healing. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 265:194–199. doi:10.1006/bbrc.1999.1455 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Sperry K (1992) Tattoo and tattooing: part II. Gross pathology, histopathology, medical complications, and applications. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 13:7–17. doi:10.1097/00000433-199203000-00003 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Taaffe A, Knight AG, Marks R (1978) Lichenoid tattoo hypersensitivity. BMJ 1:616–618PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Tani-Ishii N, Hamada N, Watanabe K, Tujimoto Y, Teranaka T, Umemoto T (2007) Expression of bone extracellular matrix proteins on osteoblast cells in the presence of mineral trioxide. J Endod 33:836–839. doi:10.1016/j.joen.2007.02.003 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Teti G, Mazzotti G, Zago M, Ortolani M, Breschi L, Pelotti S, Ruggeri A, Falconi M (2008) HEMA down-regulates procollagen alpha1 type I in human gingival fibroblasts. J Biomed Mater Res A. doi:10.1002/jbm.a.32082
  39. 39.
    Timko AL, Miller CH, Johnson FB et al (2001) In vitro quantitative chemical analysis of tattoo pigments. Arch Dermatol 137:143–147PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Vagefi MR, Dragan L, Hughes SM et al (2006) Adverse reactions to permanent eyeliner tattoo. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 22:48–51. doi:10.1097/01.iop.0000196713.94608.29 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Vasold R, Engel E, König B, Landthaler M, Bäumler W (2008) Health risks of tattoo colors. Anal Bioanal Chem 391:9–13. doi:10.1007/s00216-008-1978-z PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Wulf HC, Sandby-Møller J, Kobayasi T et al (2004) Skin aging and natural photoprotection. Micron 35:185–191. doi:10.1016/j.micron.2003.11.005 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Zago M, Teti G, Mazzotti G, Ruggeri A, Breschi L, Pelotti S, Ortolani M, Falconi M (2008) Expression of procollagen alpha1 type I and tenascin proteins induced by HEMA in human pulp fibroblasts. Toxicol In Vitro 22:1153–1159. doi:10.1016/j.tiv.2008.03.008 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Zinberg M, Heilman E, Glickman F (1982) Cutaneous pseudolymphoma resulting from tattoo. J Dermatol Surg Oncol 8:955–958PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Ziober BL, Turner MA, Palefsky JM et al (2000) Type I collagen degradation by invasive oral squamous cell carcinoma. Oral Oncol 36:365–372. doi:10.1016/S1368-8375(00)00019-1 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mirella Falconi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gabriella Teti
    • 1
  • Michela Zago
    • 1
    • 2
  • Angela Galanzi
    • 1
  • Lorenzo Breschi
    • 3
    • 4
  • Susi Pelotti
    • 5
  • Alessandra Ruggeri
    • 1
  • Giovanni Mazzotti
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anatomical SciencesUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Polo Scientifico-Didattico di RiminiUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  3. 3.Unit of Dental Sciences and Biomaterials, Department of BiomedicineUniversity of TriesteTriesteItaly
  4. 4.Unit of Bologna c/o IORIGM-CNRBolognaItaly
  5. 5.Section of Legal Medicine, Department of Medicine and Public HealthUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly

Personalised recommendations