A mathematical model of tryptophan metabolism via the kynurenine pathway provides insights into the effects of vitamin B-6 deficiency, tryptophan loading, and induction of tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase on tryptophan metabolites.

Published

Journal Article

Vitamin B-6 deficiency is associated with impaired tryptophan metabolism because of the coenzyme role of pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) for kynureninase and kynurenine aminotransferase. To investigate the underlying mechanism, we developed a mathematical model of tryptophan metabolism via the kynurenine pathway. The model includes mammalian data on enzyme kinetics and tryptophan transport from the intestinal lumen to liver, muscle, and brain. Regulatory mechanisms and inhibition of relevant enzymes were included. We simulated the effects of graded reduction in cellular PLP concentration, tryptophan loads and induction of tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase (TDO) on metabolite profiles and urinary excretion. The model predictions matched experimental data and provided clarification of the response of metabolites in various extents of vitamin B-6 deficiency. We found that moderate deficiency yielded increased 3-hydroxykynurenine and a decrease in kynurenic acid and anthranilic acid. More severe deficiency also yielded an increase in kynurenine and xanthurenic acid and more pronounced effects on the other metabolites. Tryptophan load simulations with and without vitamin B-6 deficiency showed altered metabolite concentrations consistent with published data. Induction of TDO caused an increase in all metabolites, and TDO induction together with a simulated vitamin B-6 deficiency, as has been reported in oral contraceptive users, yielded increases in kynurenine, 3-hydroxykynurenine, and xanthurenic acid and decreases in kynurenic acid and anthranilic acid. These results show that the model successfully simulated tryptophan metabolism via the kynurenine pathway and can be used to complement experimental investigations.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rios-Avila, L; Nijhout, HF; Reed, MC; Sitren, HS; Gregory, JF

Published Date

  • September 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 143 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 1509 - 1519

PubMed ID

  • 23902960

Pubmed Central ID

  • 23902960

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1541-6100

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1541-6100

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3945/jn.113.174599

Language

  • eng