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Neural Regen Res. 2014 Aug 15;9(16):1509-13. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.139475.

The biochemical pathways of central nervous system neural degeneration in niacin deficiency.

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Department of Neurosurgery, the First People's Hospital of Yancheng, Yancheng, Jiangsu Province, China.
Department of Physiology, M.S. Ramaiah Medical College, Bangalore, India.


Neural degeneration is a very complicated process. In spite of all the advancements in the molecular chemistry, there are many unknown aspects of the phenomena of neurodegeneration which need to be put together. It is a common sequela of the conditions of niacin deficiency. Neural degeneration in Pellagra manifests as chromatolysis mainly in pyramidal followed by other neurons and glial cells. However, there is a gross lack of understanding of biochemical mechanisms of neurodegeneration in niacin deficiency states. Because of the necessity of niacin or its amide derivative NAD in a number of biochemical pathways, it is understandable that several of these pathways may be involved in the common outcome of neural degeneration. Here, we highlight five pathways that could be involved in the neuraldegeneration for which evidence has accumulated through several studies. These pathways are: 1) the tryptophan-kyneurenic acid pathway, 2) the mitochondrial ATP generation related pathways, 3) the poly (ADP-ibose) polymerase (PARP) pathway, 4) the BDNF-TRKB Axis abnormalities, 5) the genetic influences of niacin deficiency.


BDNF-TRKB pathway; Niacin deficiency; biochemical pathways of degeneration; chromatolysis; kyneurenic acid; neural degeneration

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