• Low dose intravenous minocycline is neuroprotective after middle cerebral artery occlusion-reperfusion in rats.

      Xu, Lin; Fagan, Susan C.; Waller, Jennifer L.; Edwards, David; Borlongan, Cesar V; Zheng, Jianqing; Hill, William D; Feuerstein, Giora; Hess, David C.; Department of Neurology; et al. (2004-05-19)
      BACKGROUND: Minocycline, a semi-synthetic tetracycline antibiotic, is an effective neuroprotective agent in animal models of cerebral ischemia when given in high doses intraperitoneally. The aim of this study was to determine if minocycline was effective at reducing infarct size in a Temporary Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion model (TMCAO) when given at lower intravenous (IV) doses that correspond to human clinical exposure regimens. METHODS: Rats underwent 90 minutes of TMCAO. Minocycline or saline placebo was administered IV starting at 4, 5, or 6 hours post TMCAO. Infarct volume and neurofunctional tests were carried out at 24 hr after TMCAO using 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) brain staining and Neurological Score evaluation. Pharmacokinetic studies and hemodynamic monitoring were performed on minocycline-treated rats. RESULTS: Minocycline at doses of 3 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg IV was effective at reducing infarct size when administered at 4 hours post TMCAO. At doses of 3 mg/kg, minocycline reduced infarct size by 42% while 10 mg/kg reduced infarct size by 56%. Minocycline at a dose of 10 mg/kg significantly reduced infarct size at 5 hours by 40% and the 3 mg/kg dose significantly reduced infarct size by 34%. With a 6 hour time window there was a non-significant trend in infarct reduction. There was a significant difference in neurological scores favoring minocycline in both the 3 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg doses at 4 hours and at the 10 mg/kg dose at 5 hours. Minocycline did not significantly affect hemodynamic and physiological variables. A 3 mg/kg IV dose of minocycline resulted in serum levels similar to that achieved in humans after a standard 200 mg dose. CONCLUSIONS: The neuroprotective action of minocycline at clinically suitable dosing regimens and at a therapeutic time window of at least 4-5 hours merits consideration of phase I trials in humans in view of developing this drug for treatment of stroke.
    • Synaptic Neurotransmission Depression in Ventral Tegmental Dopamine Neurons and Cannabinoid-Associated Addictive Learning

      Liu, Zhiqiang; Han, Jing; Jia, Lintao; Maillet, Jean-Christian; Bai, Guang; Xu, Lin; Jia, Zhengping; Zheng, Qiaohua; Zhang, Wandong; Monette, Robert; et al. (2010-12-20)
      Drug addiction is an association of compulsive drug use with long-term associative learning/memory. Multiple forms of learning/memory are primarily subserved by activity- or experience-dependent synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). Recent studies suggest LTP expression in locally activated glutamate synapses onto dopamine neurons (local Glu-DA synapses) of the midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA) following a single or chronic exposure to many drugs of abuse, whereas a single exposure to cannabinoid did not significantly affect synaptic plasticity at these synapses. It is unknown whether chronic exposure of cannabis (marijuana or cannabinoids), the most commonly used illicit drug worldwide, induce LTP or LTD at these synapses. More importantly, whether such alterations in VTA synaptic plasticity causatively contribute to drug addictive behavior has not previously been addressed. Here we show in rats that chronic cannabinoid exposure activates VTA cannabinoid CB1 receptors to induce transient neurotransmission depression at VTA local Glu-DA synapses through activation of NMDA receptors and subsequent endocytosis of AMPA receptor GluR2 subunits. A GluR2-derived peptide blocks cannabinoid-induced VTA synaptic depression and conditioned place preference, i.e., learning to associate drug exposure with environmental cues. These data not only provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, that NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic depression at VTA dopamine circuitry requires GluR2 endocytosis, but also suggest an essential contribution of such synaptic depression to cannabinoid-associated addictive learning, in addition to pointing to novel pharmacological strategies for the treatment of cannabis addiction.
    • Therapeutic targets and limits of minocycline neuroprotection in experimental ischemic stroke.

      Matsukawa, Noriyuki; Yasuhara, Takao; Hara, Koichi; Xu, Lin; Maki, Mina; Yu, Guolong; Kaneko, Yuji; Ojika, Kosei; Hess, David C.; Borlongan, Cesar V; et al. (2009-10-19)
      BACKGROUND: Minocycline, a second-generation tetracycline with anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic properties, has been shown to promote therapeutic benefits in experimental stroke. However, equally compelling evidence demonstrates that the drug exerts variable and even detrimental effects in many neurological disease models. Assessment of the mechanism underlying minocycline neuroprotection should clarify the drug's clinical value in acute stroke setting. RESULTS: Here, we demonstrate that minocycline attenuates both in vitro (oxygen glucose deprivation) and in vivo (middle cerebral artery occlusion) experimentally induced ischemic deficits by direct inhibition of apoptotic-like neuronal cell death involving the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2/cytochrome c pathway. Such anti-apoptotic effect of minocycline is seen in neurons, but not apparent in astrocytes. Our data further indicate that the neuroprotection is dose-dependent, in that only low dose minocycline inhibits neuronal cell death cascades at the acute stroke phase, whereas the high dose exacerbates the ischemic injury. CONCLUSION: The present study advises our community to proceed with caution to use the minimally invasive intravenous delivery of low dose minocycline in order to afford neuroprotection that is safe for stroke.