Minocycline, an antibiotic of the tetracycline family, has been shown to display neurorestorative or neuroprotective properties in various models of neurodegenerative diseases. In particular, it has been shown to delay motor alterations, inflammation and apoptosis in models of Huntingtons disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinsons disease. Despite controversies about its efficacy, the relative safety and tolerability of minocycline have led to various clinical trials. Recently, we reported the antipsychotic effects of minocycline in patients with schizophrenia. In a pilot investigation, we administered minocycline as an open-label adjunct to antipsychotic medication to patients with schizophrenia. The results of this trial suggested that minocycline might be a safe and effective adjunct to antipsychotic medications, and that augmentation with minocycline may prove to be a viable strategy for “boosting” antipsychotic efficacy and for treating schizophrenia. The present review summarizes the available data supporting the clinical testing of minocycline for patients with schizophrenia. In addition, we extend our discussion to the potential applications of minocycline for combining this treatment with cellular and molecular therapy.
Minocycline, schizophrenia, apoptosis, inflammation
Department of Psychiatry, Shimane University School of Medicine, 89-1 Enyacho, Izumo 693-8501, Japan.