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Quinolinic acid, a kynurenine/tryptophan pathway metabolite, associates with impaired cognitive test performance in [SLE], 2021, Anderson et al

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Andy, Oct 24, 2021.

  1. Andy

    Andy Committee Member (& Outreach when energy allows)

    Hampshire, UK
    Full title: Quinolinic acid, a kynurenine/tryptophan pathway metabolite, associates with impaired cognitive test performance in systemic lupus erythematosus


    Objectives: Interferon-alpha, an important contributor to SLE pathogenesis, induces the enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase in the kynurenine/tryptophan (KYN/TRP) pathway. This leads to a potentially neurotoxic imbalance in the KYN/TRP pathway metabolites, quinolinic acid (QA), an N-methyl D-aspartate glutamatergic receptor (NMDAR) agonist, and kynurenic acid (KA), an NMDAR antagonist. We determined whether QA/KA ratios associate with cognitive dysfunction (CD) and depression in SLE.

    Methods: This cross-sectional study included 74 subjects with SLE and 74 healthy control (HC) subjects; all without history of neuropsychiatric disorders. Serum metabolite levels (KYN, TRP, QA, KA) were measured concurrently with assessments of cognition (Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics (ANAM), 2×2 array), mood and pain, and compared between SLE and HC. Multivariable modelling in SLE was used to evaluate associations of metabolites with cognitive performance and depression.

    Results: Serum KYN/TRP and QA/KA ratios were elevated in SLE versus HC (p<0.0001). SLE performed worse than HC on four of five ANAM tests (all p≤0.02) and the 2×2 array (p<0.01), and had higher depression scores (p<0.01). In SLE, elevated QA/KA ratios correlated with poor performance on Match to Sample (MTS), a working memory and visuospatial processing task (p<0.05). Subjects with SLE with elevated QA/KA ratios also had slightly higher odds of depression, but this did not reach significance (p=0.09). Multivariable modelling in SLE confirmed an association between QA/KA ratios and poor MTS performance when considering potentially confounding factors (p<0.05).

    Conclusions: Elevated serum KYN/TRP and QA/KA ratios confirm KYN/TRP pathway activation in SLE. The novel association between increased QA/KA ratios and poor cognitive performance supports further study of this pathway as a potential biomarker or therapeutic target for SLE-mediated CD.

    Open access, https://lupus.bmj.com/content/8/1/e000559
    Hutan, alktipping, Kitty and 3 others like this.
  2. Creekside

    Creekside Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    If they're studying the neurological effects of QA, I don't think they should be using serum samples. Most QA in the brain is produced locally. The correlation they're probably measuring is from the disease affecting cognition via local QA production also affecting QA production elsewhere in the body, which probably varies quite a bit between people.
    Hutan and Samuel like this.

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