Kynurenines, Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders: Preclinical and clinical studies

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The kynurenine pathway is the main pathway of tryptophan metabolism. L-kynurenine is a central compound of this pathway since it can change to the neuroprotective agent kynurenic acid or to the neurotoxic agent quinolinic acid. The break-up of these endogenous compounds' balance can be observable in many disorders. It can be occur in neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, Huntington's and Alzheimer's disease, in stroke, in epilepsy, in multiple sclerosis, in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and in mental failures, such as schizophrenia and depression. The increase of QUIN concentration or decrease of KYNA concentration could enhance the symptoms of several diseases. According to numerous studies, lowered KYNA level was found in patients with Parkinson's disease. It can be also noticeable that KYNA-treatment prevents against the QUIN-induced lesion of rat striatum in animal experiments. Administrating of KYNA can be appear a promising therapeutic approach, but its use is limited because of its poorly transport across the blood-brain barrier. The solution may be the development of KYNA analogues (e.g. glucoseamine- kynurenic acid) which can pass across this barrier and disengaging in the brain, then KYNA can exert its neuroprotective effects binding at the excitatory glutamate receptors, in particular the NMDA receptors. Furthermore, it seems hopeful to use kynurenine derivatives (e.g. 4-chloro-kynurenine) or enzyme inhibitors (e.g. Ro-61-8048) to ensure an increased kynurenic acid concentration in the central nervous system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-304
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Neural Transmission, Supplement
Issue number70
Publication statusPublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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