Benefit of doxycycline treatment on articular disability caused by dialysis related amyloidosis

Amyloid. 2013 Sep;20(3):173-8. doi: 10.3109/13506129.2013.803463. Epub 2013 Jun 4.


Abstract Doxycycline inhibits amyloid formation in vitro and its therapeutic efficacy is under evaluation in clinical trials for different protein conformational diseases, including prion diseases, Alzheimer's disease and transthyretin amyloidosis. In patients on chronic hemodialysis, a persistently high concentration of β2-microglobulin causes a form of amyloidosis (dialysis-related amyloidosis, DRA) localized in bones and ligaments. Since doxycycline inhibits β2-microglobulin fibrillogenesis in vitro and accumulates in bones, DRA represents an ideal form of amyloidosis where doxycycline may reach a therapeutic concentration at the site of amyloid deposition. Three patients on long-term dialysis with severe articular impairment and uncontrollable pain due to DRA were treated with 100 mg of doxycycline daily. Pharmacokinetics and safety of treatment were conducted. Plasmatic levels of the drug reached a plateau after one week (1.1-2.3 µg/ml). Treatment was well tolerated in two patients for a year, while one was suspended after 5 months due to mild esophagitis. Treatment was associated with a significant reduction in articular pain and with a significant and measurable improvement in passive and active movements in all cases, despite the persistence of unchanged amyloid deposits measured by magnetic resonance imaging.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amyloidosis / drug therapy*
  • Amyloidosis / etiology
  • Amyloidosis / metabolism
  • Amyloidosis / pathology
  • Arthralgia / drug therapy*
  • Arthralgia / etiology
  • Arthralgia / metabolism
  • Arthralgia / pathology
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Bone and Bones / pathology
  • Doxycycline / pharmacokinetics
  • Doxycycline / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Ligaments, Articular / drug effects
  • Ligaments, Articular / metabolism
  • Ligaments, Articular / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain, Intractable / drug therapy*
  • Pain, Intractable / etiology
  • Pain, Intractable / metabolism
  • Pain, Intractable / pathology
  • Plaque, Amyloid / etiology
  • Plaque, Amyloid / metabolism
  • Plaque, Amyloid / pathology*
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Shoulder Joint / drug effects
  • Shoulder Joint / metabolism
  • Shoulder Joint / pathology
  • beta 2-Microglobulin / antagonists & inhibitors
  • beta 2-Microglobulin / chemistry
  • beta 2-Microglobulin / metabolism


  • beta 2-Microglobulin
  • Doxycycline