Endogenous neuroprotection in chronic neurodegenerative disorders: With particular regard to the kynurenines

Dénes Zádori, Péter Klivényi, Imola Plangár, József Toldi, László Vécsei

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

37 Citations (Scopus)


Parkinson's disease (PD) and Huntington's disease (HD) are progressive chronic neurodegenerative disorders that are accompanied by a considerable impairment of the motor functions. PD may develop for familial or sporadic reasons, whereas HD is based on a definite genetic mutation. Nevertheless, the pathological processes involve oxidative stress and glutamate excitotoxicity in both cases. A number of metabolic routes are affected in these disorders. The decrease in antioxidant capacity and alterations in the kynurenine pathway, the main pathway of the tryptophan metabolism, are features that deserve particular interest, because the changes in levels of neuroactive kynurenine pathway compounds appear to be strongly related to the oxidative stress and glutamate excitotoxicity involved in the disease pathogenesis. Increase of the antioxidant capacity and pharmacological manipulation of the kynurenine pathway are therefore promising therapeutic targets in these devastating disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)701-717
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2011


  • Glutamate excitotoxicity
  • Huntington's disease
  • Kynurenic acid
  • Kynurenine pathway
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neuroprotection
  • Oxidative stress
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Quinolinic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Cell Biology

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