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Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2009 May 15;237(1):69-82. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2009.02.026. Epub 2009 Mar 10.

Minocycline attenuates experimental colitis in mice by blocking expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase and matrix metalloproteinases.

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Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan.


In addition to its antimicrobial activity, minocycline exerts anti-inflammatory effects in several disease models. However, whether minocycline affects the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease has not been determined. We investigated the effects of minocycline on experimental colitis and its underlying mechanisms. Acute and chronic colitis were induced in mice by treatment with dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) or trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS), and the effect of minocycline on colonic injury was assessed clinically and histologically. Prophylactic and therapeutic treatment of mice with minocycline significantly diminished mortality rate and attenuated the severity of DSS-induced acute colitis. Mechanistically, minocycline administration suppressed inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression and nitrotyrosine production, inhibited proinflammatory cytokine expression, repressed the elevated mRNA expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) 2, 3, 9, and 13, diminished the apoptotic index in colonic tissues, and inhibited nitric oxide production in the serum of mice with DSS-induced acute colitis. In DSS-induced chronic colitis, minocycline treatment also reduced body weight loss, improved colonic histology, and blocked expression of iNOS, proinflammatory cytokines, and MMPs from colonic tissues. Similarly, minocycline could ameliorate the severity of TNBS-induced acute colitis in mice by decreasing mortality rate and inhibiting proinflammatory cytokine expression in colonic tissues. These results demonstrate that minocycline protects mice against DSS- and TNBS-induced colitis, probably via inhibition of iNOS and MMP expression in intestinal tissues. Therefore, minocycline is a potential remedy for human inflammatory bowel diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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