Low molecular weight silicones are widely distributed after a single subcutaneous injection in mice

Subbarao V. Kala, Ernest D. Lykissa, Matthew W. Neely, Michael W. Lieberman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


To examine the distribution of low molecular weight silicones in body organs, separate groups of female CD-1 mice were injected with either breast implant distillate composed primarily of hexamethylcyclotrisiloxane, octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane, decamethylcyclopentasiloxane, dodecamethylcyclohexasiloxane, and tetradecamethylcycloheptasiloxane or a polydimethylsiloxane oil containing low molecular weight linear siloxanes. Mice were injected subcutaneously in the suprascapular area and killed at different times. Levels of individual low molecular weight silicones were measured in 10 different organs (brain, heart, kidney, liver, lung, mesenteric lymph nodes, ovaries, spleen, skeletal muscle, and uterus). In mice treated with the cyclosiloxane mixture and killed at 3, 6, or 9 weeks, highest levels of cyclosiloxanes were found in the mesenteric lymph nodes, ovaries, and uterus, but all organs examined contained cyclosiloxanes. In a cohort killed at 1 year, most organs contained measurable cyclosiloxanes with highest levels in mesenteric lymph nodes, abdominal fat, and ovaries. Of the individual cyclosiloxanes measured, selective retention of decamethylcyclopentasiloxane and dodecamethylcyclohexasiloxane relative to octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane was seen in all organs at all time points studied. Organs from animals receiving the linear siloxane mixture were harvested at 9, 12, and 15 weeks. We found maximum levels in the brain, lungs, and mesenteric lymph nodes, but all other organs contained measurable levels. These data are, to the best of our knowledge, the first demonstration that after a single subcutaneous injection silicones are widely distributed throughout the body and can persist over an extended period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-649
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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