A role for inflammatory metabolites as modulators of the glutamate N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor in depression and suicidality.
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Patients with depression and suicidality suffer from low-grade neuroinflammation. Pro-inflammatory cytokines activate indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase, an initial enzyme of the kynurenine pathway. This pathway produces neuroactive metabolites, including quinolinic- and kynurenic acid, binding to the glutamate N-methyl-d-aspartate-receptor, which is hypothesized to be part of the neural mechanisms underlying symptoms of depression. We therefore hypothesized that symptoms of depression and suicidality would fluctuate over time in patients prone to suicidal behavior, depending on the degree of inflammation and kynurenine metabolite levels in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).