Chronic minocycline treatment improves hippocampal neuronal structure, NMDA receptor function, and memory processing in Fmr1 knockout mice

Suk Yu Yau, Luis Bettio, M. Vetrici, A. Truesdell, C. Chiu, J. Chiu, E. Truesdell, B. R. Christie

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) is the most common inherited cause of intellectual disability, and is the leading known single-gene cause of autism spectrum disorder. FXS patients display varied behavioural deficits that include mild to severe cognitive impairments in addition to mood disorders. Currently there is no cure for this condition, however minocycline is becoming commonly prescribed as a treatment for FXS patients. Minocycline has been reported to alleviate social behavioural deficits, and improve verbal functioning in patients with FXS; however, its mode of action is not well understood. Previously we have shown that FXS results in learning impairments that involve deficits in N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG). Here we tested whether chronic treatment with minocycline can improve these deficits by enhancing NMDA receptor-dependent functional and structural plasticity in the DG. Minocycline treatment resulted in a significant enhancement in NMDA receptor function in the dentate granule cells. This was accompanied by an increase in PSD-95 and GluN2A and GluN2B subunits in hippocampal synaptoneurosome fractions. Minocycline treatment also enhanced dentate granule cell dendritic length and branching. In addition, our results show that chronic minocycline treatment can rescue performance in novel object recognition in FXS mice. These findings indicate that minocycline treatment has both structural and functional benefits for hippocampal cells, which may partly contribute to the pro-cognitive effects minocycline appears to have for treating FXS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-22
Number of pages12
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • Behaviour
  • Fragile X Syndrome
  • Hippocampus
  • Minocycline
  • NMDA
  • Synaptic plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology

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