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This article was originally published as:

Grant, R., Coggan, S., & Smyth, G. (2009). The physiological action of picolinic acid in the human brain. International Journal of Tryptophan Research, 2, 71-79. Retrieved from

ISSN: 1178-6869


Picolinic Acid is an endogenous metabolite of L-tryptophan (TRP) that has been reported to possess a wide range of neuroprotective, immunological, and anti-proliferative affects within the body. However the salient physiological function of this molecule is yet to be established. The synthesis of picolinic acid as a product of the kynurenine pathway (KP) suggests that, similar to other KP metabolites, picolinic acid may play a role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory disorders within the CNS and possibly other organs. In this paper we review the limited body of literature dealing with the physiological actions of picolinic acid in the CNS and its associated synthesis via the kynurenine pathway in health and disease. Discrepancies and gaps in our current knowledge of picolinic acid are identified highlighting areas of research to promote a more complete understanding of its endogenous function in the brain.[from article]


International Journal of Tryptophan Research may be accessed here.