Inflammation control and improvement of cognitive function in COVID-19 infections: is there a role for kynurenine 3-monooxygenase inhibition?

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The novel respiratory virus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), emerged during late 2019 and spread rapidly across the world. It is now recognised that the nervous system can be affected in COVID-19, with several studies reporting long-term cognitive problems in patients. The metabolic pathway of tryptophan degradation, known as the kynurenine pathway (KP), is significantly activated in patients with COVID-19. KP metabolites have roles in regulating both inflammatory/immune responses and neurological functions. In this review, we speculate on the effects of KP activation in patients with COVID-19, and how modulation of this pathway might impact inflammation and reduce neurological symptoms.

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Authors: Mary Ew Collier, Shaowei Zhang, Nigel S Scrutton, Flaviano Giorgini