Minocycline, a microglial inhibitor, reduces 'honey trap' risk in human economic exchange

Motoki Watabe, Takahiro A. Kato, Sho Tsuboi, Katsuhiko Ishikawa, Kazuhide Hashiya, Akira Monji, Hideo Utsumi, Shigenobu Kanba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recently, minocycline, a tetracycline antibiotic, has been reported to improve symptoms of psychiatric disorders and to facilitate sober decision-making in healthy human subjects. Here we show that minocycline also reduces the risk of the 'honey trap' during an economic exchange. Males tend to cooperate with physically attractive females without careful evaluation of their trustworthiness, resulting in betrayal by the female. In this experiment, healthy male participants made risky choices (whether or not to trust female partners, identified only by photograph, who had decided in advance to exploit the male participants). The results show that trusting behaviour in male participants significantly increased in relation to the perceived attractiveness of the female partner, but that attractiveness did not impact trusting behaviour in the minocycline group. Animal studies have shown that minocycline inhibits microglial activities. Therefore, this minocycline effect may shed new light on the unknown roles microglia play in human mental activities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number01685
JournalScientific reports
Volume3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 18 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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