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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Metabolism of L-tryptophan to kynurenate and quinolinate in the central nervous system: effects of 6-chlorotryptophan and 4-chloro-3-hydroxyanthranilate.

The metabolism of L-tryptophan to the neuroactive kynurenine pathway metabolites, L-kynurenine, kynurenate and quinolinate, and the effects of two inhibitors of quinolinate synthesis (6-chlorotryptophan and 4-chloro-3-hydroxyanthranilate) were investigated by mass spectrometric assays in cultured cells and in vivo. Cell lines obtained from astrocytoma, neuroblastoma, macrophage/monocytes, lung, and liver metabolized L-[13C6]-tryptophan to L-[13C6]kynurenine and [13C6]kynurenate, particularly after indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase induction by interferon-gamma. Kynurenine aminotransferase activity was measurable in all cell types examined but was unaffected by interferon-gamma. These results suggest that many cell types can be sources of kynurenate following immune activation. In vivo synthesis of L-[13C6]kynurenine and [13C6]kynurenate from L-[13C6]tryptophan was studied in the CSF of macaques infected with poliovirus, as a model of inflammatory neurologic disease. The effects of 6-chlorotryptophan and 4-chloro-3-hydroxyanthranilate on the synthesis of kynurenate were different. 6-Chlorotryptophan attenuated formation of L-[13C6]kynurenine and [13C6]kynurenate and was converted to 4-chlorokynurenine and 7-chlorokynurenate. It may be an effective prodrug for the delivery of 7-chlorokynurenate, which is a potent antagonist of NMDA receptors. In contrast, 4-chloro-3-hydroxyanthranilate did not reduce accumulation of L-[13C6]kynurenine and [13C6]kynurenate. 6-Chlorotryptophan and 4-chloro-3-hydroxyanthranilate are useful tools to manipulate concentrations of quinolinate and kynurenate in the animal models of neurologic disease to evaluate physiological roles of these neuroactive metabolites.[1]


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