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Am J Pathol. 2007 Oct;171(4):1199-214. Epub 2007 Aug 23.

Minocycline modulates neuroinflammation independently of its antimicrobial activity in staphylococcus aureus-induced brain abscess.

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Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 W. Markham St., Slot 846, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA.


Minocycline exerts beneficial immune modulatory effects in several noninfectious neurodegenerative disease models; however, its potential to influence the host immune response during central nervous system bacterial infections, such as brain abscess, has not yet been investigated. Using a minocycline-resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus to dissect the antibiotic's bacteriostatic versus immune modulatory effects in a mouse experimental brain abscess model, we found that minocycline significantly reduced mortality rates within the first 24 hours following bacterial exposure. This protection was associated with a transient decrease in the expression of several proinflammatory mediators, including interleukin-1beta and CCL2 (MCP-1). Minocycline was also capable of protecting the brain parenchyma from necrotic damage as evident by significantly smaller abscesses in minocycline-treated mice. In addition, minocycline exerted anti-inflammatory effects when administered as late as 3 days following S. aureus infection, which correlated with a significant decrease in brain abscess size. Finally, minocycline was capable of partially attenuating S. aureus-dependent microglial and astrocyte activation. Therefore, minocycline may afford additional therapeutic benefits extending beyond its antimicrobial activity for the treatment of central nervous system infectious diseases typified by a pathogenic inflammatory component through its ability to balance beneficial versus detrimental inflammation.

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