Kynurenine is a metabolite of the amino acid tryptophan used in the production of niacin. L-kynurenine is a central compound of the pathway of tryptophan metabolism pathway since it can change to the neuroprotective agent kynurenic acid or to the neurotoxic agent quinolinic acid. The break-up of these endogenous compounds' balance can be observable in many disorders. It can occur in neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, Huntington's and Alzheimer's disease, in stroke, in epilepsy, in multiple sclerosis, in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and in mental failures, such as schizophrenia and depression. [HMDB]

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