Anti-amyloidogenic activity of tetracyclines: Studies in vitro

Gianluigi Forloni, Laura Colombo, Laura Girola, Fabrizio Tagliavini, Mario Salmona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cerebral deposition of β-amyloid is a major neuropathological feature in Alzheimer's disease. Here we show that tetracyclines, tetracycline and doxycycline, classical antibiotics, exhibit anti-amyloidogenic activity. This capacity was determined by the exposure of β 1-42 amyloid peptide to the drugs followed by the electron microscopy examination of the amyloid fibrils spontaneously formed and quantified with thioflavine T binding assay. The drugs reduced also the resistance of β 1-42 amyloid fibrils to trypsin digestion. Tetracyclines not only inhibited the β-amyloid aggregates formation but also disassembled the pre-formed fibrils. The results indicate that drugs with a well-known clinical profile, including activity in the central nervous system, are potentially useful for Alzheimer's therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404-407
Number of pages4
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 5 2001


  • β-Amyloid
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Antibiotic
  • Fibrillogenesis
  • Neuroprotection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


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