Kynurenines and headache

Árpád Párdutz, Annamária Fejes, Zsuzsanna Bohár, Lilla Tar, József Toldi, László Vécsei

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

23 Citations (Scopus)


In parallel to serotonin synthesis, the major route of tryptophan catabolism is the kynurenine pathway, which produces neuroactive metabolites. Among these substances, kynurenic acid has potential neuroprotective action blocking glutamate release and glutamatergic neurotransmission. Glutamate is a key player in migraine pathogenesis; it is crucial in the communication of first and second-order neurons, and it has an important role in the genesis of cortical spreading depression, which is the electrophysiological correlate for migraine aura and may be involved in the activation of the trigeminal system. Thus, kynurenines may affect the pathogenesis directly, by acting on glutamate receptors and exerting other neuromodulatory effects, and indirectly via an altered serotonin metabolism. This work summarizes our current results regarding the role of the kynurenine system in trigeminal activation and other events occurring during migraine headache.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-296
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of neural transmission
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2012


  • Kynurenic acid
  • Kynurenines
  • Migraine
  • Nociception
  • Trigeminal system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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