Multiple sclerosis is a common chronic, disabling autoimmune neurological disease affecting
mainly young adults. In its pathomechanism, neurodegenerative and acute inflammatory characteristics
are both involved. Disease-modifying therapies aim to reduce relapse-rate and slow down the
deterioration in neurological functions. The currently available therapies fail to exert neuroprotective
effects and most of them are associated with potentially toxic side-effects, therefore, ongoing research
aims to develop novel drug candidates to cover these therapeutic gaps. The kynurenine pathway has
been implicated in both the physiological processes of the central nervous system and in the pathomechanism
of several neurological disorders as well. Alterations of the kynurenine pathway metabolites
have been detected in multiple sclerosis and a number of potential therapeutic targets related to this
metabolic route have been already identified. Laquinimod is a quinoline carboxamide showing structural
similarities with kynurenic acid, which proved to have beneficial effects on reduction of brain atrophy
and disability progression. The kynurenine pathway is therefore a promising target for the development
of future drugs for the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
Keywords: Multiple sclerosis, laquinimod, kynurenine system, neuroprotection, neuroinflammation.
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