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J Physiol Pharmacol. 2016 Feb;67(1):3-19.

Overview of the role of vitamins and minerals on the kynurenine pathway in health and disease.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn, Poland. michal.majewski@uwm.edu.pl.
2
Department of Human Physiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn, Poland.
3
Department of Medical Biology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn, Poland.
4
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn, Poland.

Abstract

The kynurenine pathway (KP) of L-tryptophan metabolism produces several neuroactive metabolites with an amino acid structure. These metabolites may play an important role in the pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, schizophrenia, AIDS-dementia complex, depression, epilepsy and the aging process. Modulation of the KP through inhibition or stimulation of enzyme synthesis and activity can be an alternative approach to traditional therapy. Furthermore, it may be responsible for the altered functioning of the enteric nervous system and the central nervous system. There is evidence that the KP is sensitive to changes in the concentration of many vitamins and minerals that play a crucial role as coenzymes and cofactors in the de novo synthesis of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide coenzyme. A reduction in the availability of the active form of vitamin B6 (pyridoxal 5'-phosphate, PLP) is known to affect tryptophan hydroxylase, kynurenine aminotransferase and kynureninase (KYNU). Vitamin B2 deficiencies result in a reduction in the activity of the flavin adenine dinucleotide dependent enzyme, kynurenine 3-monooxygenase. Minerals are also responsible for the proper functioning of enzymes engaged in L-tryptophan metabolism. Mn(2+), Zn(2+), Co(2+) and Cu(2+) influence KYNU activity, and Mg(2+) regulates quinolinate phosphoribosyl transferase. Fe(2+) is responsible for the proper functioning of both indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase and 3-hydroxy-anthranilic acid dioxygenase. Changes in the concentration of KP metabolites and in enzymatic activity have been found in many pathological states. Therefore, it is justifiable to regulate the concentration of certain kynurenines or enzymes in the KP which may provide a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of various health impairments. This review demonstrates the role of vitamin and mineral activity on the KP, which may have an effect on the proper functioning of the human organism. Surplus administration of vitamins did not elicit any beneficial effects on L-tryptophan metabolism. Whether a mineral surplus influences L-tryptophan metabolism is still not established. It seems that cofactor deficiencies influence the KP far more than surpluses.

PMID:
27010891
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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