1-Methyl tryptophan, an indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase inhibitor, attenuates cardiac and hepatic dysfunction in rats with biliary cirrhosis

Sevda Shayesteh, Gilles J. Guillemin, Amir Rashidian, Hedyeh Faghir‐Ghanesefat, Ali R. Mani, Seyed Mohammad Tavangar, Ahmad R. Dehpour*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Kynurenine Pathway (KP) is the dominant metabolic route of tryptophan which is catalyzed by indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase (IDO). This pathway is upregulated in liver disease where the level of KP metabolites correlates with the severity of disease. Cirrhosis is associated with cardiac dysfunction, which manifests itself during severe physiological challenges such as liver transplantation. Cardiac dysfunction in cirrhosis is linked to systemic inflammation and impaired cardiac beta-adrenergic signaling pathways. The KP pathway is involved in modulation of cardiac signaling and is upregulated by systemic inflammation. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the effect of IDO inhibition on development of cardiac dysfunction in an experimental model of cirrhosis. Cirrhosis was induced by bile duct ligation (BDL). Experimental groups were given either 1-methyl tryptophan (1-MT, 1, 3, 9 mg/kg), or saline. 28 days after BDL, cardiac chronotropic response to epinephrine was assessed ex vivo. HPLC was employed to measure hepatic and cardiac levels of tryptophan, kynurenine and kynurenic acid. Cirrhosis in rats was associated with impaired cardiac chronotropic responsiveness to adrenergic stimulation. 1-MT dose-dependently improved cirrhosis-induced chronotropic dysfunction as well as elevated serum levels of CRP and IL-6 in BDL rats. Hepatic and cardiac kynurenine/tryptophan ratio were elevated in cirrhotic rats and were reduced following 1-MT administration. Chronic administration of 1-MT could also reduce hepatic inflammation, fibrosis and ductular proliferation. 1-MT attenuates cardiac dysfunction in rats with biliary cirrhosis. This protective effect is not limited to the cardiac function as liver histopathologic changes were also improved following chronic 1-MT administration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number174309
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Early online date9 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2021


  • 1-Methyl tryptophan
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Cirrhosis
  • Indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase
  • Kynurenine
  • Tryptophan


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