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Schizophr Res. 2005 Dec 15;80(2-3):315-22. Epub 2005 Aug 25.

Elevated levels of kynurenic acid in the cerebrospinal fluid of male patients with schizophrenia.

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Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.


Previous studies have shown that endogenous brain levels of kynurenic acid (KYNA), a glutamate receptor antagonist, are elevated in patients with schizophrenia. Here we analyse KYNA in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from a large cohort, including male healthy controls (n=49) and male patients with schizophrenia (n=90). We found that male patients with schizophrenia had significantly higher levels of CSF KYNA compared to healthy male controls (1.45 nM+/-0.10 vs. 1.06 nM+/-0.06 in the control group). Furthermore, when the patients with schizophrenia were divided into subgroups we found that CSF KYNA levels were significantly elevated in drug-naïve, first episode patients (1.53 nM+/-0.19, n=37) and in patients undergoing treatment with antipsychotic drugs (1.53 nM+/-0.17, n=34) compared to healthy male controls. No elevated CSF KYNA levels were detected in drug-free patients with schizophrenia, i.e. patients previously undergoing antipsychotic medications but drug-free at time of sampling (1.16 nM+/-0.10, n=19). Present results confirm that CSF KYNA concentration is elevated in patients with schizophrenia and are consistent with the hypothesis that KYNA contributes to the pathophysiology of the disease.

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