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Curr Med Chem. 2017;24(32):3547-3558. doi: 10.2174/0929867324666170509120257.

Kynurenic Acid and Neuroprotective Activity of the Ketogenic Diet in the Eye.

Author information

1
Chair of Ophthalmology, Medical University, Lublin. Poland.
2
Department of Child Neurology, Medical University, Lublin. Poland.
3
Department of Biopharmacy, Medical University, Lublin. Poland.
4
Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA. United States.
5
Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University, Jaczewskiego 8b, 20-090 Lublin. Poland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is growing evidence of the involvement of the kynurenine metabolic pathway and the enhancement of kynurenic acid production in the neuroprotective effects of the ketogenic diet.

OBJECTIVE:

Here, we review evidence implicating kynurenic acid in the efficacy of ketogenic diet in eye diseases associated with neurodegeneration.

FINDINGS:

Ketogenic diet and ketone bodies that are elevated during exposure to the ketogenic diet each have a neuroprotective effect on retinal ganglion cells in a rat model of Nmethyl- D-aspartate induced neuronal damage. Chronic exposure to ketogenic diet also increases kynurenic acid concentrations in discrete rat brain structures. A non-selective glutamate receptor agonist, glutamate, also decreases the production of kynurenic acid in bovine retinal slices; this effect is attenuated by acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate, two of three ketone bodies overproduced during ketogenic diet.

PERSPECTIVE:

Whether ketogenic diet induced enhancement of kynurenic acid production would translate into a clinically significant improvement in certain eye diseases like glaucoma and retinal neurodegenerations awaits further experimental and clinical verification.

KEYWORDS:

Eye; ketogenic diet; kynurenic acid; kynurenine; neuroprotection; retina

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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