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Int J Tryptophan Res. 2010;3:157-67. Epub 2010 Aug 25.

Understanding the roles of the kynurenine pathway in multiple sclerosis progression.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia.


The kynurenine pathway (KP) is a major degradative pathway of tryptophan ultimately leading to the production of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)) and is also one of the major regulatory mechanisms of the immune response. The KP is known to be involved in several neuroinflammatory disorders including Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, AIDS dementia complex, Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, Huntington's disease and brain tumours. However, the KP remains a relatively new topic for the field of multiple sclerosis (MS). Over the last 2-3 years, some evidence has progressively emerged suggesting that the KP is likely to be involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases especially MS. Some KP modulators are already in clinical trials for other inflammatory diseases and would potentially provide a new and important therapeutic strategy for MS patients. This review summarizes the known relationships between the KP and MS.


KP; MS; kynurenine pathway; multiple sclerosis; pathogenesis

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