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International Journal of Tryptophan Research

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The Kynurenine Pathway in Stem Cell Biology

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Publication Date: 15 Sep 2013

Type: Review

Journal: International Journal of Tryptophan Research

Citation: International Journal of Tryptophan Research 2013:6 57-66

doi: 10.4137/IJTR.S12626

Abstract

The kynurenine pathway (KP) is the main catabolic pathway of the essential amino acid tryptophan. The KP has been identified to play a critical role in regulating immune responses in a variety of experimental settings. It is also known to be involved in several neuroinflammatory diseases including Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. This review considers the current understanding of the role of the KP in stem cell biology. Both of these fundamental areas of cell biology have independently been the focus of a burgeoning research interest in recent years. A systematic review of how the two interact has not yet been conducted. Several inflammatory and infectious diseases in which the KP has been implicated include those for which stem cell therapies are being actively explored at a clinical level. Therefore, it is highly relevant to consider the evidence showing that the KP influences stem cell biology and impacts the functional behavior of progenitor cells.



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