Rat brain slices produce and liberate kynurenic acid upon exposure to L-kynurenine.

Article date: 1989/5/1

PubMed ID: 2709016

Journal name: Journal of neurochemistry (ISSN: 0022-3042)


The incorporation of L-kynurenine (L-KYN) into kynurenic acid (KYNA) was examined in rat brain slices. KYNA was measured in the slices and in the incubation medium after purification by ion-exchange and HPLC chromatography. In pilot experiments, the formation of KYNA was confirmed by gas chromatography. KYNA was produced stereoselectively from L-KYN, and approximately 90% of the newly synthesized KYNA was recovered from the incubation medium. Intracellular KYNA was not actively retained by the tissue and was lost from the cells upon repeated washes. Thus, regulation of the levels of extracellular KYNA appears to occur at the level of L-KYN uptake and/or kynurenine transaminase, the biosynthetic enzyme of KYNA. KYNA production from L-KYN was linear up to 4 h and reached a plateau at a L-KYN concentration of 250 microM. The process was effectively inhibited by the transaminase inhibitor aminooxyacetic acid (IC50, approximately 25 microM), and showed pronounced regional distribution (hippocampus greater than cortical areas greater than thalamus much greater than cerebellum). The conversion of L-KYN to KYNA was dependent on oxygenation and on the presence of glucose in the incubation medium. Neither deletion of Ca2+ or Mg2+ nor addition of 20 mM Mg2+ had any effect. However, KYNA production was significantly attenuated in the absence of Cl- or in the presence of 50 mM K+ in the incubation medium. In Na+-free medium, the production of KYNA from L-KYN was increased by 30%.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Author List: Turski W A, Gramsbergen J B, Traitler H, Schwarcz R

Publication Types: Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

Substances mentioned in the article: Chlorides; Aminooxyacetic Acid; Ibotenic Acid; Kynurenine; Kynurenic Acid; Potassium;

Mesh terms: Aminooxyacetic Acid/pharmacology; Animals; Brain/drug effects; Cerebellum/metabolism; Cerebral Cortex/metabolism; Chlorides/pharmacology; Corpus Striatum/drug effects; Hippocampus/metabolism; Ibotenic Acid/pharmacology; Kinetics; Kynurenic Acid/metabolism; Kynurenine/metabolism; Male; Potassium/pharmacology; Rats; Rats, Inbred Strains; Thalamus/metabolism; Tissue Distribution;

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