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Neurosci Lett. 2003 Jul 31;346(1-2):97-100.

L-cysteine sulphinate, endogenous sulphur-containing amino acid, inhibits rat brain kynurenic acid production via selective interference with kynurenine aminotransferase II.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical University, Jaczewskiego 8, 20-090 Lublin, Poland.


In the present study the effect of endogenous sulphur-containing amino acids, L-cysteine sulphinate, L-cysteate, L-homocysteine sulphinate and L-homocysteate, on the production of glutamate receptor antagonist, kynurenic acid (KYNA), was evaluated. The experiments comprised the measurements of (a). KYNA synthesis in rat cortical slices and (b). the activity of KYNA biosynthetic enzymes, kynurenine aminotransferases (KATs). All studied compounds reduced KYNA production and inhibited the activity of KAT I and/or KAT II, thus acting most probably intracellularly. L-Cysteine sulphinate in very low, micromolar concentrations selectively affected the activity of KAT II, the enzyme catalyzing approximately 75% of KYNA synthesis in the brain. L-Cysteine sulphinate potency was higher than other studied sulphur-containing amino acids, than L-aspartate, L-glutamate, or any other known KAT II inhibitor. Thus, L-cysteine sulphinate might act as a modulator of KYNA formation in the brain.

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