Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, 64:2542

Tryptophan degradation in autoimmune diseases

Authors

  • C. A. Opitz
    • Department of NeurooncologyUniversity Hospital of Heidelberg and Experimental Neuroimmunology Group, INF 400 and German Cancer Research Center, INF 280
    • Department of General Neurology and Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain ResearchUniversity Hospital of Tübingen
  • W. Wick
    • Department of NeurooncologyUniversity Hospital of Heidelberg and Experimental Neuroimmunology Group, INF 400 and German Cancer Research Center, INF 280
    • Department of General Neurology and Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain ResearchUniversity Hospital of Tübingen
  • L. Steinman
    • Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Beckman Center for Molecular MedicineStanford University
    • Department of NeurooncologyUniversity Hospital of Heidelberg and Experimental Neuroimmunology Group, INF 400 and German Cancer Research Center, INF 280
    • Department of General Neurology and Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain ResearchUniversity Hospital of Tübingen
Review

DOI: 10.1007/s00018-007-7140-9

Cite this article as:
Opitz, C.A., Wick, W., Steinman, L. et al. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2007) 64: 2542. doi:10.1007/s00018-007-7140-9

Abstract.

Recent evidence points to tryptophan (Trp) degradation as a potent immunosuppressive mechanism involved in the maintenance of immunological tolerance. Both Trp depletion and downstream Trp catabolites (TCs) appear to synergistically confer protection against excessive inflammation. In this review, we give an overview of the immunosuppressive properties of Trp degradation with special focus on TCs. Constitutive and inducible Trp degradation in different cell types and tissues of human and murine origin is summarized. We address the influence of Trp degradation on different aspects of autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis. Possible therapeutic approaches for autoimmune disorders targeting Trp degradation are presented, and key issues relevant for the development of such therapeutic strategies are discussed.

Keywords.

AutoimmunityIDOimmunosuppressionkynureninemultiple sclerosistolerancetryptophan

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2007