Effects of neuroactive metabolites of the tryptophan pathway on working memory and cortical thickness in schizophrenia
Hong, L Elliot
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AbstractA number of tryptophan metabolites known to be neuroactive have been examined for their potential associations with cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. Among these metabolites, kynurenic acid (KYNA), 5-hydroxyindole (5-HI), and quinolinic acid (QUIN) are documented in their diverse effects on α-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) and/or N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR), two of the receptor types thought to contribute to cognitive impairment in schizophrenia. In this study, serum levels of KYNA, 5-HI, and QUIN were measured in 195 patients with schizophrenia and in 70 healthy controls using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry; cognitive performance in MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery and cortical thickness measured by magnetic resonance imaging were obtained. Patients with schizophrenia had significantly lower serum KYNA (p < 0.001) and QUIN (p = 0.02) levels, and increased 5-HI/KYNA (p < 0.001) and QUIN/KYNA ratios (p < 0.001) compared with healthy controls. Multiple linear regression showed that working memory was positively correlated with serum 5-HI levels (t = 2.10, p = 0.04), but inversely correlated with KYNA concentrations (t = -2.01, p = 0.05) in patients. Patients with high 5-HI and low KYNA had better working memory than other subgroups (p = 0.01). Higher 5-HI levels were associated with thicker left lateral orbitofrontal cortex (t = 3.71, p = 2.94 × 10-4) in patients. The different effects of 5-HI and KYNA on working memory may appear consistent with their opposite receptor level mechanisms. Our findings appear to provide a new insight into the dynamic roles of tryptophan pathway metabolites on cognition, which may benefit novel therapeutic development that targets cognitive impairment in schizophrenia.
Identifier to cite or link to this itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/10713/15423