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Pubmed-Changes in Tryptophan Metabolism on Serotonin and Kynurenine Pathways in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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Nutrients. 2023 Mar 3;15(5):1262. doi: 10.3390/nu15051262.


(1) Background: L-tryptophan is a substrate for the synthesis of many biological compounds through the serotonin and kynurenine pathways. These compounds have a significant influence on gastrointestinal functions and mental processes. The aim of the study was to evaluate the urinary excretion of selected tryptophan metabolites in patients with constipation-predominant and diarrhoea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-C and IBS-D, respectively), related to somatic and mental symptoms. (2) Methods: 120 people were included in the study and three groups were distinguished, with 40 individuals each, including healthy subjects (controls), patients with IBS-C and patients with IBS-D. The Gastrointestinal Symptoms Rating Scale (GSRS-IBS) was used to assess the severity of abdominal symptoms. The Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) and Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) were used to evaluate the mental state of patients. Using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), L-tryptophan and the following metabolites in urine, related to the creatinine level, were measured: 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), kynurenine (KYN), kynurenic acid (KYNA) and quinolinic acid (QA). (3) Results: In both groups of patients with IBS, changes in tryptophan metabolism were found as compared to the control group. We observed an increase in the activity of the serotonin pathway and a positive correlation between the 5-HIAA level and the GSRS score (p < 0.01) and HAM-A score (p < 0.001) in IBS-D patients. The IBS-C group was characterized by a higher concentration of kynurenines (KYN, QA) in urine. Moreover, the QA (p < 0.001) and KYNA (p < 0.05) levels were correlated with the HAM-D score among IBS-C patients. (4) Conclusions: Various changes in the tryptophan metabolism pathway can determine the differences in the clinical picture of irritable bowel syndrome. These results should be included in the nutritional and pharmacological treatment of this syndrome.

PMID:36904262 | DOI:10.3390/nu15051262

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