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Current Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 0929-8673
ISSN (Online): 1875-533X

Review Article

Kynurenic Acid and Neuroprotective Activity of the Ketogenic Diet in the Eye

Author(s): Tomasz Zarnowski, Maria Tulidowicz-Bielak, Iwona Zarnowska, Krystyna Mitosek-Szewczyk, Artur Wnorowski, Krzysztof Jozwiak, Maciej Gasior and Waldemar A. Turski*

Volume 24 , Issue 32 , 2017

Page: [3547 - 3558] Pages: 12

DOI: 10.2174/0929867324666170509120257

Price: $65


Background: There is growing evidence of the involvement of the kynurenine metabolic pathway and the enhancement of kynurenic acid production in the neuroprotective effects of the ketogenic diet.

Objective: Here, we review evidence implicating kynurenic acid in the efficacy of ketogenic diet in eye diseases associated with neurodegeneration.

Findings: Ketogenic diet and ketone bodies that are elevated during exposure to the ketogenic diet each have a neuroprotective effect on retinal ganglion cells in a rat model of Nmethyl- D-aspartate induced neuronal damage. Chronic exposure to ketogenic diet also increases kynurenic acid concentrations in discrete rat brain structures. A non-selective glutamate receptor agonist, glutamate, also decreases the production of kynurenic acid in bovine retinal slices; this effect is attenuated by acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate, two of three ketone bodies overproduced during ketogenic diet.

Perspective: Whether ketogenic diet induced enhancement of kynurenic acid production would translate into a clinically significant improvement in certain eye diseases like glaucoma and retinal neurodegenerations awaits further experimental and clinical verification.

Keywords: Eye, ketogenic diet, kynurenic acid, kynurenine, neuroprotection, retina.

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