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Metabolic dysfunctions in the kynurenine pathway, noradrenergic and purine metabolism in schizophrenia and bipolar disorders

  • Nils Eiel Steen (a1), Ingrid Dieset (a1), Sigrun Hope (a1) (a2), Trude S.J. Vedal (a1), Olav B. Smeland (a1) (a3), Wayne Matson (a4), Rima Kaddurah-Daouk (a5) (a6) (a7), Ingrid Agartz (a1) (a8), Ingrid Melle (a1), Srdjan Djurovic (a1) (a9) (a10), Erik G. Jönsson (a1) (a11), Mikhail Bogdanov (a12) and Ole A. Andreassen (a1)...
Abstract
Background

We aimed at exploring potential pathophysiological processes across psychotic disorders, applying metabolomics in a large and well-characterized sample of patients and healthy controls.

Methods

Patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorders (N = 212) and healthy controls (N = 68) had blood sampling with subsequent metabolomics analyses using electrochemical coulometric array detection. Concentrations of 52 metabolites including tyrosine, tryptophan and purine pathways were compared between patients and controls while controlling for demographic and clinical characteristics. Significant findings were further tested in medication-free subsamples.

Results

Significantly decreased plasma concentrations in patients compared to healthy controls were found for 3-hydroxykynurenine (3OHKY, p = 0.0008), xanthurenic acid (XANU, p = 1.5×10−5), vanillylmandelic acid (VMA, p = 4.5×10−5) and metanephrine (MN, p = 0.0001). Plasma concentration of xanthine (XAN) was increased in the patient group (p = 3.5×10−5). Differences of 3OHKY, XANU, VMA and XAN were replicated across schizophrenia spectrum disorders and bipolar disorders subsamples of medication-free individuals.

Conclusions

Although prone to residual confounding, the present results suggest the kynurenine pathway of tryptophan metabolism, noradrenergic and purinergic system dysfunction as trait factors in schizophrenia spectrum and bipolar disorders. Of special interest is XANU, a metabolite previously not found to be associated with bipolar disorders.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Author for correspondence: Nils Eiel Steen, E-mail: n.e.steen@medisin.uio.no
References
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Psychological Medicine
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