Involvement of the kynurenine pathway in MS

Dr Gilles Guillemin

St Vincent's Hospital

| Better treatments | Neurobiology | Incubator | 2008 | Investigator Led Research |


Dr Guillemin’s aims to demonstrate that tryptophan metabolism plays an important role in the development of MS.

The main hypothesis is that the activation of tryptophan degradation through the kynurenine pathway leads to a decrease in molecules essential for brain cell repair and survival. Moreover, further down the kynurenine pathway, toxic molecules are produced and which activate immune brain cells that lead to neuron and oligodendrocyte dysfunction.

Project Outcomes

Dr Guillemin has shown that the kynurenine pathway is activated in people with MS and behaves differently depending on the type of MS and the stage of the disease. An activated kynurenine pathway may compromise the effectiveness of MS treatments.

This study strongly suggests that the KP metabolism is actively involved in MS progression. It may be possible to enhance the activity of existing or new treatments by developing drugs that mitigate or enhance the effects of different molecules through the kynurenine pathway.


  • Kynurenine Pathway Metabolic Profiling in Multiple Sclerosis Progression: (on hold due to patent application)
  • Serum Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Levels Through Disease Course in Multiple Sclerosis (manuscript in preparation)
  • Characterization of the Kynurenine Pathway in Chronic Progressive Experimental Autoimmune Encaphalomyelitis (manuscript in preparation)
  • The Involvement of the kynurenine pathway in multiple sclerosis Edwin Lim, Gayathri Sundaram, Bruce J Brew and Gilles J. Guillemin (Review)

Updated: 03 January, 2008


  • Dr Gilles J. Guillemin, The University of New South Wales, NSW
  • Dr Karen Cullen
  • Dr Roger Stankovic
  • Mr (Edwin) Chai K. Lim

Grant Awarded

  • $15,000 in 2008

Total Funding

  • $15,000


  • 1 year

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Involvement of the kynurenine pathway in MS