Inhibition of autoimmune encephalomyelitis by a tetracycline

Ann Neurol. 2002 Feb;51(2):215-23. doi: 10.1002/ana.10092.


We have explored the use of minocycline, a tetracycline with antiinflammatory properties, to treat chronic relapsing-remitting experimental allergic encephalomyelitis, an animal model of multiple sclerosis. Therapeutic treatment with minocycline dramatically suppresses ongoing disease activity and limits disease progression. Disease suppression is associated with immune deviation in the periphery and with suppression of the inflammatory cascade in the central nervous system. This association is demonstrated by inhibition of microglial activation and metalloproteinase-2 expression, which results in a concomitant decrease in inflammation and demyelination. As an established antiinflammatory drug with neuroprotective properties, minocycline may provide a novel therapeutic agent for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Brain / immunology
  • Brain / pathology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / immunology
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / pathology
  • Female
  • Immunization
  • Minocycline / pharmacology*
  • Myelin Proteins
  • Myelin-Associated Glycoprotein / immunology
  • Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein
  • Rats
  • Recurrence
  • Th1 Cells / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Mog protein, rat
  • Myelin Proteins
  • Myelin-Associated Glycoprotein
  • Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein
  • Minocycline