Minocycline attenuates the development of diabetic neuropathy by modulating DREAM and BDNF protein expression in rat spinal cord

  • Che Aishah Nazariah Ismail
  • Rapeah Suppian
  • Che Badariah Abd Aziz
  • Idris LongEmail author
Research article



This study investigates the effects of minocycline (an inhibitor of microglial activation) administration on the expression level of spinal BDNF and DREAM proteins in diabetic neuropathic pain (DNP) rats.


The rats were divided into four groups (n = 16): non-diabetic control, diabetic control and diabetic rats receiving minocycline (80 μg/day or 160 μg/day). The diabetic rat model was induced by intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (60 mg/kg STZ). Tactile allodynia was assessed on day-0 (baseline), day-14 (pre-intervention) and day-22 (post-intervention). Minocycline at doses of 80 μg and 160 μg were given intrathecally from day-15 until day-21. On day-23, formalin test was conducted to assess  nociceptive behaviour response. The spinal expression of OX-42 and level of BDNF and DREAM proteins were detected by immunohistochemistry and western blot analyses.


Diabetes rats showed significant tactile allodynia and nociceptive behaviour. These were accompanied by augmented expression of spinal OX-42, BDNF and DREAM protein levels. Both doses of minocycline attenuated tactile allodynia and nociceptive behaviour and also suppressed the diabetic-induced increase in spinal expressions of OX-42, BDNF and DREAM proteins.


This study revealed that minocycline could attenuate DNP by modulating spinal BDNF and DREAM protein expressions.


Diabetic neuropathic pain DREAM BDNF Minocycline Spinal cord 



This study was supported by the Universiti Sains Malaysia research funding (RUI 1001/PPSK/812139) and Government of Malaysia Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS 203/PPSK/6171189).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest in preparing this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physiology Department, School of Medical SciencesUniversiti Sains Malaysia Health CampusKubang KerianMalaysia
  2. 2.School of Health SciencesUniversiti Sains Malaysia Health CampusKubang KerianMalaysia

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