Serum Metabolic Profiles of the Tryptophan-Kynurenine Pathway in the high risk subjects of major depressive disorder

Masashi Sakurai, Yasuko Yamamoto, Noriyo Kanayama, Masaya Hasegawa, Akihiro Mouri, Masao Takemura, Hidetoshi Matsunami, Tomoya Miyauchi, Tatsuya Tokura, Hiroyuki Kimura, Mikiko Ito, Eri Umemura, Aiji Sato Boku, Wataru Nagashima, Takashi Tonoike, Kenichi Kurita, Norio Ozaki, Toshitaka Nabeshima, Kuniaki Saito

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44 Citations (Scopus)


Previous reports have shown that during chronic inflammation, the tryptophan (TRP)-kynurenine (KYN) pathway plays a pivotal role in the onset of depression. The aim of this study was to investigate the characteristics of the serum TRP-KYN pathway metabolite profile in high-risk subjects of major depressive disorder (HRMDD) defined by depression scores. The concentrations of TRP-KYN pathway metabolites {TRP, KYN, 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid (3HAA), 3-hydroxykynurenine (3HK), kynurenic acid (KYNA) and anthranilic acid (AA)} were assessed in serum from HRMDD, chronic pain disorder patients and healthy controls. In serum from HRMDD, elevated levels of AA and decreased levels of TRP were observed, but the levels of other metabolites were not changed. Furthermore, the change in the AA2nd/AA1st ratio in subjects who progressed from a health. y state to a depressive state was correlated with an increase in the CES-D score. The level of IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA) was negatively correlated with that of AA. Interestingly, we confirmed AA as a possible biomarker for depression-related symptoms, since the metabolite profiles in the chronic pain disorder group and chronic unpredictable mild stress model mice were similar to those in the HRMDD. These results suggest that AA may be an effective marker for HRMDD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1961
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01-12-2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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