Minocycline increases quality and longevity of chronic neural recordings

J Neural Eng. 2007 Jun;4(2):L1-5. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/4/2/L01. Epub 2007 Jan 24.


Brain/machine interfaces could potentially be used in the treatment of a host of neurological disorders ranging from paralysis to sensory deficits. Insertion of chronic micro-electrode arrays into neural tissue initiates a host of immunological responses, which typically leads to the formation of a cellular sheath around the implant, resulting in the loss of useful signals. Minocycline has been shown to have neuroprotective and neurorestorative effects in certain neural injury and neurodegenerative disease models. This study examined the effects of minocycline administration on the quality and longevity of chronic multi-channel microwire neural implants 1 week and 1 month post-implantation in auditory cortex. The mean signal-to-noise ratio for the minocycline group stabilized at the end of week 1 and remained above 4.6 throughout the following 3 weeks. The control group signal-to-noise ratio dropped throughout the duration of the study and at the end of 4 weeks was 2.6. Furthermore, 68% of electrodes from the minocycline group showed significant stimulus-driven activity at week 4 compared to 12.5% of electrodes in the control group. There was a significant reduction in the number of activated astrocytes around the implant in minocycline subjects, as well as a reduction in total area occupied by activated astrocytes at 1 and 4 weeks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / drug effects
  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / drug effects
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / drug effects
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / physiology*
  • Male
  • Minocycline / administration & dosage*
  • Neurons, Afferent / drug effects
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Minocycline