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Mechanism identified for promising neurological drug

negative. "In blocking PARP-1, you block DNA repair," he cautions. "That will likely be true of minocycline. And in blocking DNA repair you conceivably increase the risk of cancer. In clinical trials where people are taking minocycline for months at a time, I think that investigators need to take this into consideration ?although for someone with a serious neurodegenerative disease like ALS, it could be a reasonable tradeoff. But you want to have your eyes open."

Another implication has to do with gender differences: PARP-1 stimulates an inflammatory response much more strongly in males than in females, "across all species that have been looked at," says Swanson. "It's unclear why that's true. But again, that means we need to look at whether minocycline has the same effects on women as in men. And as far as I know, that's not being looked at."

The study results also have a potential positive implication directly bearing on research that Swanson is currently conducting on possible ways to prevent brain cell death and promote new brain cell growth after stroke. "It turns out that both of these effects can be accomplished by blocking PARP-1 activation after stroke," he says. "Up to this time, we've been doing that with bona fide PARP inhibitors. We intend now to look at minocycline in the same vein."


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Source:University of California - San Francisco


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