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Kynurenine Pathway Metabolism is Involved in the Maintenance of the Intracellular NAD+ Concentration in Human Primary Astrocytes

Author(s): Ross Grant | Susan Nguyen | Gilles Guillemin

Journal: International Journal of Tryptophan Research
ISSN 1178-6469

Volume: 2010;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 151;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Efficient synthesis of NAD+ is critical to maintaining cell viability in all organs of the body. However, little is known of the pathway(s) by which cells of the central nervous system produce NAD+. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship, between tryptophan degradation via the kynurenine pathway (KP) and de novo NAD+ synthesis in human astrocytes, a major cell type within the brain. In this study we observed that inhibition of single enzymes of the KP resulted in significant decreases in NAD+ levels in astroglial cells after a 24 hr period. We also observed that astrocytes cultured in media deficient in tryptophan, nicotinic acid and nicotinamide resulted in a 50% decrease in NAD+ levels after 24 hrs. This decrease in NAD+ was partially restored by supplementation of the culture media with either tryptophan or kynurenine, or nicotinic acid or with supply of the salvage pathway precursor nicotinamide.
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