Anthranilic acid (AA) has attracted considerable attention as one of the L-tryptophan-kynurenine pathway metabolites in the central nervous system. In this study, a highly sensitive and accurate method for the quantification of AA has been developed using reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. Serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) AA concentrations in different animal species were measured. CSF AA concentrations in rabbits were 1.1 ± 0.1 nmol/liter, which were 5.7-33.0 times lower than those in other species studied. Serum AA concentrations, however, were slightly higher in rabbits than in other species. In contrast, the concentrations of L-kynurenine (L-KYN) in both serum and CSF were substantially higher in rabbits than in other species. Tissue kynurenine pathway enzymes, indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), tryptophan 2,3- dioxygenase, kynurenine 3-hydroxylase, and kynureninase were determined in rabbits, rats, gerbils, and mice. These enzymes varied among species, especially lung IDO activities in rabbits were 146-516 times higher than those found in other species, but rabbit liver kynurenine 3-hydroxylase activities were lower by one order of magnitude than those of the other species tested. Furthermore, brain kynurenine 3-hydroxylasae activities were 12.3-23.2 times higher in gerbils than those in the other species tested. In addition, AA concentrations in serum following intravenous administration of L-KYN (5 mg/kg) were also measured in rabbits. AA levels peaked sharply within 5 min after administration and decreased in a time-dependent manner. At 5 min after administration, CSF L-KYN and AA concentrations were also increased by 1.76- and 2.56-fold, respectively, compared with basal levels. Increased AA concentrations in CSF following L-KYN administration may reflect the entry of AA into the CSF after conversion to AA in systemic tissue and/or the local synthesis of AA from L-KYN in the CNS.
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