Introduction: The kynurenine pathway includes several neuroactive compounds, including kynurenic
acid, picolinic acid, 3-hydroxykynurenine and quinolinic acid. The enzymatic cascade of the kynurenine pathway is
tightly connected with the immune system, and may provide a link between the immune system and neurotransmission.
Main Areas Covered: Alterations in this cascade are associated with neurodegenerative, neurocognitive, autoimmune
and psychiatric disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple
sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, migraine or schizophrenia.
Highlights: This review highlights the alterations in this metabolic pathway in the physiological aging process and in different disorders.
A survey is also presented of therapeutic possibilities of influencing this metabolic route, which can be achieved through the use of synthetic
kynurenic acid analogues, enzyme inhibitors or even nanotechnology.
Keywords: Aging, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, glutamate excitotoxicity, Huntington’s disease, kynurenine pathway,
migraine, multiple sclerosis, neurodegeneration, neuroprotection, Parkinson’s disease, picolinic acid, schizophrenia, Toxoplasma gondii.
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