Immunomodulatory Effects of Genetic Alterations Affecting the Kynurenine Pathway

Fanni A. Boros, László Vécsei

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Several enzymes and metabolites of the kynurenine pathway (KP) have immunomodulatory effects. Modulation of the activities and levels of these molecules might be of particular importance under disease conditions when the amelioration of overreacting immune responses is desired. Results obtained by the use of animal and tissue culture models indicate that by eliminating or decreasing activities of key enzymes of the KP, a beneficial shift in disease outcome can be attained. This review summarizes experimental data of models in which IDO, TDO, or KMO activity modulation was achieved by interventions affecting enzyme production at a genomic level. Elimination of IDO activity was found to improve the outcome of sepsis, certain viral infections, chronic inflammation linked to diabetes, obesity, aorta aneurysm formation, and in anti-tumoral processes. Similarly, lack of TDO activity was advantageous in the case of anti-tumoral immunity, while KMO inhibition was found to be beneficial against microorganisms and in the combat against tumors, as well. On the other hand, the complex interplay among KP metabolites and immune function in some cases requires an increase in a particular enzyme activity for the desired immune response modulation, as was shown by the exacerbation of liver fibrosis due to the elimination of IDO activity and the detrimental effects of TDO inhibition in a mouse model of autoimmune gastritis. The relevance of these studies concerning possible human applications are discussed and highlighted. Finally, a brief overview is presented on naturally occurring genetic variants affecting immune functions via modulation of KP enzyme activity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2570
JournalFrontiers in immunology
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 6 2019

Fingerprint

Kynurenine
Enzymes
Gastritis
Virus Diseases
Liver Cirrhosis
Aneurysm
Aorta
Immunity
Sepsis
Theoretical Models
Obesity
Inflammation
Neoplasms

Keywords

  • genetic manipulation
  • IDO
  • immunomodulation
  • KMO
  • kynurenine pathway
  • TDO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

Cite this

Immunomodulatory Effects of Genetic Alterations Affecting the Kynurenine Pathway. / Boros, Fanni A.; Vécsei, László.

In: Frontiers in immunology, Vol. 10, 2570, 06.11.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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