Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Genetic deletion in uncoupling protein 3 augments 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose cardiac uptake in the ischemic heart

Sara Gargiulo123, Maria Piera Petretta1, Adelaide Greco12, Mariarosaria Panico3, Michele Larobina3, Matteo Gramanzini123, Gabriele G Schiattarella1, Giovanni Esposito1, Mario Petretta4, Arturo Brunetti12 and Alberto Cuocolo1*

  • * Corresponding author: Alberto Cuocolo

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Advanced Biomedical Sciences, University Federico II, Via Pansini 5, 80131 Naples, Italy

2 CEINGE Scarl, Naples, Italy

3 Institute of Biostructure and Bioimaging, National Council of Research, Naples, Italy

4 Department of Translational Medical Sciences, University Federico II, Naples, Italy

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BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2014, 14:98  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-14-98

Published: 8 August 2014



We investigated the effects of uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3) genetic deletion on 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) cardiac uptake by positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) dedicated animal system after permanent coronary artery ligation.


Cardiac 18F-FDG PET/CT was performed in UCP3 knockout (UCP3-/-) and wild-type (WT) mice one week after induction of myocardial infarction or sham procedure.


In sham-operated mice no difference in left ventricular (LV) volume was detectable between WT and UCP3-/-. After myocardial infarction, LV volume was higher in both WT and UCP3-/- compared to sham animals, with a significant interaction (p < 0.05) between genotype and myocardial infarction. In sham-operated animals no difference in FDG standardized uptake value (SUV) was detectable between WT (1.8 ± 0.6) and UCP3-/- (1.8 ± 0.6). After myocardial infarction SUV was significantly higher in remote areas than in infarcted territories in both UCP3-/- and WT mice (both p < 0.01). Moreover, in remote areas, SUV was significantly higher (p < 0.001) in UCP3-/- as compared to WT, while in the infarcted territory SUV was comparable (p = 0.29). A significant relationship (r = 0.68, p < 0.001) between LV volume and SUV was found.


In a mice model of permanent coronary occlusion, UCP3 deficiency results in a metabolic shift that favored glycolytic metabolism and increased FDG uptake in remote areas.

Uncoupling protein; Myocardial infarction; Glucose metabolism; Positron emission tomography