Two cardinal elements in the complex and multifaceted pathophysiology of schizophrenia (SCZ) are neuroinflammation and dysregulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission, with the latter being especially involved in treatment-resistant schizophrenia (TRS). Interestingly, the Kynurenine (KYN) pathway (KP) is at the crossroad between them, constituting a potential causal link and a therapeutic target. Although there is preclinical and clinical evidence indicating a dysregulation of KP associated with the clinical phenotype of SCZ, clinical studies investigating the possible relationship between changes in biomarkers of the KP and response to pharmacotherapy are still limited. Therefore, we have studied possible differences in the circulating levels of biomarkers of the metabolism of tryptophan along the KP in 43 responders to first-line treatments (FLR) and 32 TRS patients treated with clozapine, and their possible associations with psychopathology in the two subgroups. Plasma levels of KYN were significantly higher in TRS patients than in FLR patients, indicating a greater activation of KP. Furthermore, the levels of quinolinic (NMDA receptor agonist) and kynurenic acid (NMDA negative allosteric modulator) showed a negative and a positive correlation with several dimensions and the overall symptomatology in the whole sample and in FLR, but not in TRS, suggesting a putative modulating effect of clozapine elicited through the NMDA receptors. Despite the cross-sectional design of the study that prevents us from demonstrating causation, these findings show a significant relationship among circulating KP biomarkers, psychopathology, and response to pharmacotherapy in SCZ. Therefore, plasma KP biomarkers should be further investigated for developing personalized medicine approaches in SCZ.

The kynurenine pathway in treatment-resistant schizophrenia at the crossroads between pathophysiology and pharmacotherapy / Sapienza, J.; Agostoni, G.; Dall'Acqua, S.; Sut, S.; Nasini, S.; Martini, F.; Marchesi, A.; Bechi, M.; Buonocore, M.; Cocchi, F.; Cavallaro, R.; Spangaro, M.; Comai, S.; Bosia, M.. - In: SCHIZOPHRENIA RESEARCH. - ISSN 0920-9964. - 264:(2024), pp. 71-80. [10.1016/j.schres.2023.12.005]

The kynurenine pathway in treatment-resistant schizophrenia at the crossroads between pathophysiology and pharmacotherapy

Sapienza J.;Agostoni G.;Marchesi A.;Cavallaro R.;Spangaro M.;Comai S.;Bosia M.
2024-01-01

Abstract

Two cardinal elements in the complex and multifaceted pathophysiology of schizophrenia (SCZ) are neuroinflammation and dysregulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission, with the latter being especially involved in treatment-resistant schizophrenia (TRS). Interestingly, the Kynurenine (KYN) pathway (KP) is at the crossroad between them, constituting a potential causal link and a therapeutic target. Although there is preclinical and clinical evidence indicating a dysregulation of KP associated with the clinical phenotype of SCZ, clinical studies investigating the possible relationship between changes in biomarkers of the KP and response to pharmacotherapy are still limited. Therefore, we have studied possible differences in the circulating levels of biomarkers of the metabolism of tryptophan along the KP in 43 responders to first-line treatments (FLR) and 32 TRS patients treated with clozapine, and their possible associations with psychopathology in the two subgroups. Plasma levels of KYN were significantly higher in TRS patients than in FLR patients, indicating a greater activation of KP. Furthermore, the levels of quinolinic (NMDA receptor agonist) and kynurenic acid (NMDA negative allosteric modulator) showed a negative and a positive correlation with several dimensions and the overall symptomatology in the whole sample and in FLR, but not in TRS, suggesting a putative modulating effect of clozapine elicited through the NMDA receptors. Despite the cross-sectional design of the study that prevents us from demonstrating causation, these findings show a significant relationship among circulating KP biomarkers, psychopathology, and response to pharmacotherapy in SCZ. Therefore, plasma KP biomarkers should be further investigated for developing personalized medicine approaches in SCZ.
2024
Clozapine
Glutamate
Glycine
Kynurenic acid
NMDA
Quinolinic acid
Schizophrenia symptoms
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11768/162196
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