Available therapies mainly target the inflammatory component of the disease but fail to prevent neurodegeneration.
To investigate the effect of minocycline on the survival of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), the neurons that form the axons of the optic nerve
Functional and histopathological data of RGCs and optic nerves revealed neuronal and axonal protection when minocycline treatment was started on the day of immunization.
Furthermore, we demonstrate that minocycline-induced neuroprotection is related to a direct antagonism of multiple mechanisms leading to neuronal cell death such as the induction of anti-apoptotic intracellular signalling pathways and a decrease in glutamate excitotoxicity.
From these observations, we conclude that minocycline exerts neuroprotective effects independent of its anti-inflammatory properties.
CONCLUSION: Minocycline significantly enhances the survival of RGCs after ONT and in experimental glaucoma by delaying the apoptosis pathway. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The safety record of minocycline and its ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier suggest that this drug is a promising neuroprotective drug for optic nerve injuries.
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