Age and circadian influences on picolinic acid concentrations in human cerebrospinal fluid

Sarah E. Coggan, George A. Smythe, Ayse Bilgin, Ross S. Grant

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    33 Citations (Scopus)


    It has been suggested that picolinic acid (PIC), an endogenous metabolite of l-tryptophan, possesses neuro-protective and anti-proliferative effects within the CNS. However, the literature surrounding PIC is limited, and its exact endogenous function is not known. Picolinic acid is produced via the kynurenine pathway which has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a range of neuro-inflammatory diseases. Although not extensively studied, there have been reports of altered PIC production alongside other kynurenine metabolites in inflammatory disorders. In order to investigate whether PIC concentrations are altered with disease in the CNS, we analysed PIC levels in the CSF of 241 patients who underwent lumbar puncture as part of their standard clinical evaluation. In patients with no apparent CNS disease, CSF PIC levels were 10-fold higher in samples taken between 20:00 and 16:00 h compared with those collected between 04:00 and 12:00 h. This result suggests a diurnal variation in PIC synthesis within the CNS. In addition, we observed a direct correlation between a patient's age and their PIC concentration. No significant correlations were observed between CSF PIC levels and any specific disease state.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1220-1225
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


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