Beneficial effects of melatonin on apolipoprotein-e knockout mice by morphological and18f-fdg pet/ct assessments

Rita Rezzani, Luca Facchetti, Gaia Favero, Caterina Franco, Yasser Gaber Abdelhafez, Ramsey Derek Badawi, Michele Guindani, Youngho Seo, Miguel Pampaloni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Atherosclerosis represents one of the main risk factors for the development of cardiovascular diseases. Their etiologies have been studied in recent years in order to better define therapeutic targets for intervention and to identify diagnostic methods. Two different subtypes of macrophages, M1 and M2, have been described in physiological conditions. They can also be found in the atherosclerotic process, where they both have opposite roles in disease progression. Perivascular brown adipose tissue is also involved in inflammation and endothelial damage. In this work, we provide insights into the protective role of melatonin in the atherosclerotic process by morphological and 18F-FDG-PET/CT analyses. In particular, we examined the effects of melatonin on pathways that are linked to atherosclerosis development. We showed that melatonin, by suppressing M1 activity, reduced inflammation and directed macrophage polarization toward the M2 macrophage subtype. Moreover, melatonin preserved the activity of perivascular brown adipose tissue. In addition, 18F-FDG uptake is very high in mice treated with melatonin, confirming that other factors may alter 18F-FDG distribution. In conclusion, we showed that melatonin affects inflammatory pathways that have been linked to atherosclerosis, assessed the relationships of the 18F-FDG PET/CT parameters with macrophage markers and the production of their cytokines, which that have been defined by morphological evaluations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2920
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 2 2020


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Macrophage polarization
  • Melatonin
  • Molecular imaging
  • Perivascular brown adipose tissue
  • PET/CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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