The role of tryptophan metabolites in neuropsychiatric disorders

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Davidson, Majid ORCID: 0000-0002-3241-6444, Rashidi, Niloufar, Nurgali, Kulmira ORCID: 0000-0002-2597-6929 and Apostolopoulos, Vasso ORCID: 0000-0001-6788-2771 (2022) The role of tryptophan metabolites in neuropsychiatric disorders. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23 (17). ISSN 1661-6596


In recent decades, neuropsychiatric disorders such as major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar, etc., have become a global health concern, causing various detrimental influences on patients. Tryptophan is an important amino acid that plays an indisputable role in several physiological processes, including neuronal function and immunity. Tryptophan’s metabolism process in the human body occurs using different pathways, including the kynurenine and serotonin pathways. Furthermore, other biologically active components, such as serotonin, melatonin, and niacin, are by-products of Tryptophan pathways. Current evidence suggests that a functional imbalance in the synthesis of Tryptophan metabolites causes the appearance of pathophysiologic mechanisms that leads to various neuropsychiatric diseases. This review summarizes the pharmacological influences of tryptophan and its metabolites on the development of neuropsychiatric disorders. In addition, tryptophan and its metabolites quantification following the neurotransmitters precursor are highlighted. Eventually, the efficiency of various biomarkers such as inflammatory, protein, electrophysiological, genetic, and proteomic biomarkers in the diagnosis/treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders was discussed to understand the biomarker application in the detection/treatment of various diseases.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.3390/ijms23179968
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3202 Clinical sciences
Current > Division/Research > Australian Institute of Musculoskeletal Science (AIMSS)
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords tryptophan, neuropsychiatric disorders, global health, tryptophan metabolism
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