Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Inked Mice Hint at How Tattoos Persit in People

French researchers suggest that tattoos are able to stay on skin due to a hand off of immune cells between generations known as macrophages. If proven true, this could overturn the idea that ink persists in connective tissue. Mice were tattooed on their tails with green ink to see how waste-disposing macrophages in the skin would respond. This was done by Immunologist Sandrine Henri. The study showed that macrophages gobbled up the ink but did not remove it. The cells held onto the ink until researchers killed the cells. About 90 days later, new macrophages moved in and absorbed the ink. This is what preserves the ink. Further research needs to be done says Desmond Tobin, a dermatologist. Macrophages that live in Mice do not live as long as those in humans. The persistence of those cells may be responsible for preserving ink in skin. These studies may help improve tattoo removal. With the combination of laser therapy and getting rid of skin macrophages, the ink could be removed.

I think this is fascinating because all this time we thought the connective tissue absorbed the ink, meanwhile there were cells behind it. This discovery could help better understand tattoos and help people who want to get rid of their tattoos. During these times, many people have tattoos. They are becoming more popular as society integrates them into an everyday style. Some people may jump into getting a tattoo and regret it later on. I think this discovery will be helpful for those who want tattoos removed.

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1 comment:

  1. I found this information to very interesting because I do think that many people get tattoos and then later regret it. With these macrophages, it could make it easier for tattoos to be removed and hopefully less painful. Although, I believe that if it were easier to remove tattoos that I think there would be an increase in the amount of people getting them.