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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2003;527:455-63.

Kynurenine pathway enzymes in different species of animals.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Padova, Via Marzolo 5, I-35131 Padova, Italy.


Kynurenine pathway enzyme activities, liver tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase (TDO), small intestine indole 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), liver and kidney kynurenine 3-monooxygenase, kynurenine-oxoglutarate transaminase, kynureninase, 3-hydroxyanthranilate 3,4-dioxygenase and aminocarboxymuconate-semialdehyde decarboxylase, were assayed in rabbits, rats, mice and guinea pigs. Their activities varied among species. Especially, TDO was present as both holoenzyme and apoenzyme only in rat, while the other species, rabbit, mouse and guinea pig, only showed holoenzyme activity. Mitochondrial liver and kidney kynurenine 3-monooxygenase activities were much higher in mouse and rat, with rabbit showing the lowest activity. Kynureninase activity showed similar values in both liver and kidney in each species. However, lower activity was present in rabbit. As regards kynurenine-oxoglutarate transaminase, the highest activity appeared in kidney, in all species studied. 3-Hydroxyanthranilate 3,4-dioxygenase activity showed different behaviour in the four species. In rabbit, its activity was higher in kidney than in liver; in rat and mouse, it was viceversa; and in guinea pig, both liver and kidney had similar activity. Instead, the activity of aminocarboxymuconate-semialdehyde decarboxylase was higher in kidney than in liver only in guinea pig. Serum tryptophan concentrations were also determined. Rabbit and guinea pig showed similar values, whereas in rat and mouse, serum tryptophan levels were higher, rat having the highest concentrations. In all species assayed, the free fraction was present as 11-12% of total tryptophan.

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