Schizophrenia has a clear sexual dimorphism in age of onset and progression. The underlying mechanisms of this dimorphism are not known, but may be found in the interactions of sex hormones with the tryptophan catabolising kynurenine pathway. Schizophrenia is associated with general inflammation and disruption of glutamatergic and dopaminergic signalling. Metabolites of the kynurenine pathway have been shown to be immunomodulatory and have effects on glutamatergic and dopaminergic signalling. This review discusses the currently available literature on sex hormones and their effect on the kynurenine pathway in the context of the glutamatergic, dopaminergic and immunological features of schizophrenia.
- Kynurenine pathway