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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2005 Sep;25(9):1138-49.

Minocycline confers early but transient protection in the immature brain following focal cerebral ischemia-reperfusion.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143-0663, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2006 Mar;26(3):446.


The incidence of neonatal stroke is high and currently there are no strategies to protect the neonatal brain from stroke or reduce the sequelae. Agents capable of modifying inflammatory processes hold promise. We set out to determine whether delayed administration of one such agent, minocycline, protects the immature brain in a model of transient middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion in 7-day-old rat pups. Injury volume in minocycline (45 mg/kg/dose, beginning at 2 h after MCA occlusion) and vehicle-treated pups was determined 24 h and 7 days after onset of reperfusion. Accumulation of activated microglia/macrophages, phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) p38 in the brain, and concentrations of inflammatory mediators in plasma and brain were determined at 24 h. Minocycline significantly reduced the volume of injury at 24 h but not 7 days after transient MCA occlusion. The beneficial effect of minocycline acutely after reperfusion was not associated with changed ED1 phenotype, nor was the pattern of MAPK p38 phosphorylation altered. Minocycline reduced accumulation of IL-1beta and CINC-1 in the systemic circulation but failed to affect the increased levels of IL-1beta, IL-18, MCP-1 or CINC-1 in the injured brain tissue. Therefore, minocycline provides early but transient protection, which is largely independent of microglial activation or activation of the MAPK p38 pathway.

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