The kynurenine pathway (KP) is the principle route of catabolism of the essential amino acid tryptophan, leading to the production of several neuroactive and immunoregulatory metabolites. Alterations in the KP have been implicated in various neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases, immunological disorders, and many other diseased states. Although the role of the KP in the skin has been evaluated in small niche fields, limited studies are available regarding the effect of acute ultra violet exposure and the induction of the KP in human skin-derived fibroblasts and keratinocytes. Since UV exposure can illicit an inflammatory component in skin cells, it is highly likely that the KP may be induced in these cells in response to UV exposure. It is also possible that some KP metabolites may act as pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory mediators, since the KP is important in immunomodulation.
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