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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

Editor-in-Chief: Plebani, Mario

Ed. by Gillery, Philippe / Greaves, Ronda / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Payne, Deborah A. / Schlattmann, Peter

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 3.638

CiteScore 2018: 2.44

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 1.191
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.205

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Volume 41, Issue 7


Tryptophan Metabolites and Brain Disorders

Trevor W. Stone / Gillian M. Mackay / Caroline M. Forrest / Catherine J. Clark / L. Gail Darlington
Published Online: 2005-06-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2003.129


Tryptophan is metabolised primarily along the kynurenine pathway, of which two components are now known to have marked effects on neurons in the central nervous system. Quinolinic acid is an agonist at the population of glutamate receptors which are sensitive to N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), and kynurenic acid is an antagonist at several glutamate receptors. Consequently quinolinic acid can act as a neurotoxin while kynurenic acid is neuroprotectant. A third kynurenine, 3-hydroxykynurenine, can generate free radicals and contribute to, or exacerbate, neuronal damage. Changes in the absolute or relative concentrations of these kynurenines have been implicated in a variety of central nervous system disorders such as the AIDS-dementia complex and Huntington's disease, raising the possibility that interference with their actions or synthesis could lead to new forms of pharmacotherapy for these conditions.

About the article

Published Online: 2005-06-01

Published in Print: 2003-07-21

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Volume 41, Issue 7, Pages 852–859, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2003.129.

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