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The Anti-Inflammatory Role of Minocycline in Alzheimer´s Disease

[ Vol. 13 , Issue. 12 ]


J. Budni, M. L. Garcez, J. de Medeiros, E. Cassaro, T. Bellettini-Santos, F. Mina and J. Quevedo   Pages 1319 - 1329 ( 11 )


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder where the main risk factor is age, since its incidence increases dramatically after the age of 60. It is the most common form of dementia, and is accompanied by memory loss and cognitive impairment. Although AD was discovered over a century ago, the only drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use in its treatment are four cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine. However, these drugs are not fully effective in the treatment of AD. Therefore, the incessant search for new methods of treating AD continues, with the hope of improving both the effectiveness of therapies and the quality of life for patients suffering with AD. Current evidence suggests that the antibiotic minocycline could be a potential therapeutic drug for use in the treatment of AD due to its anti-neuroinflammatory effects. Minocycline is a tetracycline derivative that combines an anti-inflammatory property that is capable of crossing the blood brain barrier with neuroprotective properties that work by limiting inflammation and oxidative stress. Several studies have established the presence of inflammatory markers in the brains of patients suffering with AD, including elevated levels of cytokines/chemokines and microgliosis in damaged regions. Cytokines have been associated with increased tau phosphorylation and decreased levels of synaptophysin, establishing their roles in the cytoskeletal and synaptic alterations that take place in AD. Therefore, pharmacological approaches that allow for the discovery and development of new anti-inflammatory agents such as minocycline will be welcomed in the continuing struggle against AD. Considering these facts, this review will discuss the anti-inflammatory mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective effects of minocycline as a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of AD.


Alzheimer's disease, AD treatment, cytokine, minocycline, neuroinflammation, microglial activation.


Laboratório de Neurociências, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências da Saúde, Unidade Acadêmica de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade do Extremo, Sul Catarinense, 88806-000 Criciúma, SC, Brazil.

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