Of mice and men: Treating acne with systemic antibiotics can have unintended consequences on the maturing skeleton during adolescence

Adolescence is a time of significant skeletal development. In a new report, researchers showed that long-term use of minocycline, an antibiotic used for the systemic treatment of adolescent acne, disrupts the normal gut microbiome, leading to poor bone maturation. Surprisingly, these effects were caused by a change in the gut microbiome, leading to an altered profile of bile acids — molecules that aid digestion and communicate with many organs — that suppressed the activity of bone-forming cells called osteoblasts, even after treatment stopped.

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