Minocycline exacerbates apoptotic neurodegeneration induced by the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 in the early postnatal mouse brain

  • Ioana Inta
  • Miriam A. Vogt
  • Anne S. Vogel
  • Markus Bettendorf
  • Peter Gass
  • Dragos IntaEmail author
Short Communication


NMDA receptor (NMDAR) antagonists induce in perinatal rodent cortical apoptosis and protracted schizophrenia-like alterations ameliorated by antipsychotic treatment. The broad-spectrum antibiotic minocycline elicits antipsychotic and neuroprotective effects. Here we tested, if minocycline protects also against apoptosis triggered by the NMDAR antagonist MK-801 at postnatal day 7. Surprisingly, minocycline induced widespread cortical apoptosis and exacerbated MK-801-triggered cell death. In some areas such as the subiculum, the pro-apoptotic effect of minocycline was even more pronounced than that elicited by MK-801. These data reveal among antipsychotics unique pro-apoptotic properties of minocycline, raising concerns regarding consequences for brain development and the use in children.


Minocycline MK-801 Caspase-3 Neurotoxicity Neurodevelopment Schizophrenia 



We thank to Katja Lankisch, Natascha Pfeiffer and Christof Dormann for their excellent technical support. This work was supported by a grant from the Olympia-Morata-Programm of the Medical Faculty of the University of Heidelberg to I.I., the Sonderforschungsbereich (SFB) 636/B03 and the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, 01GQ1003B) to P.G.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ioana Inta
    • 1
  • Miriam A. Vogt
    • 2
  • Anne S. Vogel
    • 2
  • Markus Bettendorf
    • 1
  • Peter Gass
    • 2
  • Dragos Inta
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Pediatric EndocrinologyUniversity Children’s Hospital HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Central Institute for Mental Health MannheimUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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