Tryptophan, Serotonin, and Melatonin

Volume 467 of the series Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology pp 125-131

Kynurenine Pathway Metabolism in Human Astrocytes

  • Gilles J. GuilleminAffiliated withCentre for Immunology
  • , Stephen J. KerrAffiliated withCentre for Immunology
  • , George A. SmytheAffiliated withBiomedical Mass Spectrometry Unit, University of New South Wales
  • , Patricia J. ArmatiAffiliated withSchool of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney
  • , Bruce J. BrewAffiliated withCentre for ImmunologyDepartments of Neurology and HIV Medicine, St Vincent’s Hospital

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The involvement of astrocytes in Kynurenine pathway (KP) metabolism is still poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated the ability of human fetal astrocytes in vitro to produce quinolinic and picolinic acids using mass spectrometry. In parallel, we estimated the level of expression of five major KP enzymes using RT-PCR. The results demonstrated that astrocytes express most KP enzymes, except for kynurenine-hydroxylase. This in vitro study provides novel informations regarding the ability of human fetal astrocytes to degrade L-tryptophan along the KP.