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In Vivo. 2012 Sep-Oct;26(5):743-58.

Analysis of minocycline as a countermeasure against acute radiation syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Basic Sciences, Loma Linda University and Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA.



To evaluate the impact of an antibiotic, minocycline, on several immune parameters in response to radiation in a mouse model.


C57BL/6 mice were treated with minocycline (i.p.) for 5 days, beginning immediately before radiation with 1-3 Gy (60)Co γ-rays. Spleen and blood were collected on day 4 post-irradiation. Cell populations were determined in the blood and spleen. Splenocytes were activated with anti-CD3 antibody for 48 h and cytokines were quantified.


Minocycline increased the counts and/or percentages of splenic macrophages, granulocytes, natural killer, T- and CD8(+) T-cells (p<0.05 versus radiation alone). Minocycline significantly increased the expression of interleukin-1α and β, which are radioprotective, as well as the ones of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, which accelerate neutrophil recovery (p<0.05 versus radiation alone), while suppressing cytokines that could prevent hematopoiesis, e.g. macrophage inflammatory protein-1α, tumor necrosis factor-α and interferon-γ.


These data indicate that minocycline should be further tested for use in restoration of the hematopoietic system after radiation exposure.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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