Critical data-based re-evaluation of minocycline as a putative specific microglia inhibitor

Thomas Möller, Frédérique Bard, Anindya Bhattacharya, Knut Biber, Brian Campbell, Elena Dale, Claudia Eder, Li Gan, Gwenn A. Garden, Zoë A. Hughes, Damien D. Pearse, Roland G.W. Staal, Faten A. Sayed, Paul D. Wes, Hendrikus W.G.M. Boddeke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Minocycline, a second generation broad-spectrum antibiotic, has been frequently postulated to be a “microglia inhibitor.” A considerable number of publications have used minocycline as a tool and concluded, after achieving a pharmacological effect, that the effect must be due to “inhibition” of microglia. It is, however, unclear how this “inhibition” is achieved at the molecular and cellular levels. Here, we weigh the evidence whether minocycline is indeed a bona fide microglia inhibitor and discuss how data generated with minocycline should be interpreted. GLIA 2016;64:1788–1794.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1788-1794
Number of pages7
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • inhibitor
  • lack of specificity
  • microglia
  • minocycline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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