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Papers of the Week

Papers: 10 Dec 2022 - 16 Dec 2022


2022 Nov 27




Exploring the Tryptophan Metabolic Pathways in Migraine-Related Mechanisms.


Körtési T, Spekker E, Vécsei L
Cells. 2022 Nov 27; 11(23).
PMID: 36497053.


Migraine is a complex neurovascular disorder, which causes intense socioeconomic problems worldwide. The pathophysiology of disease is enigmatic; accordingly, therapy is not sufficient. In recent years, migraine research focused on tryptophan, which is metabolized via two main pathways, the serotonin and kynurenine pathways, both of which produce neuroactive molecules that influence pain processing and stress response by disturbing neural and brain hypersensitivity and by interacting with molecules that control vascular and inflammatory actions. Serotonin has a role in trigeminal pain processing, and melatonin, which is another product of this pathway, also has a role in these processes. One of the end products of the kynurenine pathway is kynurenic acid (KYNA), which can decrease the overexpression of migraine-related neuropeptides in experimental conditions. However, the ability of KYNA to cross the blood-brain barrier is minimal, necessitating the development of synthetic analogs with potentially better pharmacokinetic properties to exploit its therapeutic potential. This review summarizes the main translational and clinical findings on tryptophan metabolism and certain neuropeptides, as well as therapeutic options that may be useful in the prevention and treatment of migraine.