Serum indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase and kynurenine aminotransferase enzyme activity in patients with ischemic stroke

J Clin Neurosci. 2014 Mar;21(3):482-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2013.08.020. Epub 2013 Oct 30.


We investigated the activation and pathophysiological roles of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) and kynurenine aminotransferase (KAT) in patients with ischemic stroke. Patients were recruited from the acute stroke unit of a general hospital within 24 hours post-stroke. The immune transmission turbidity method was used to determine the concentration of serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), apolipoprotein A-1 and apolipoprotein B. The concentrations of triglyceride, cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL), low density lipoprotein and non-esterified fatty acids were determined using an enzymatic method. Tryptophan (TRP), kynurenine (KYN) and kynurenine acid (KYNA) concentrations were determined by high performance liquid chromatography. The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) was used to assess the neurological deficits at admission and 3 weeks post-stroke. The IDO and KAT activity ratio were calculated by KYN/TRP and KYNA/KYN, respectively. The correlation between hsCRP and IDO, KAT and NIHSS score was also analyzed. A total of 81 patients with ischemic stroke and 35 normal controls were recruited. Lower TRP, KYNA, HDL and KAT activity ratio were found in the stroke group compared to the control group (p<0.05). The levels of hsCRP and IDO activity ratio were much higher in the stroke group than the control group (p<0.01). The IDO activity in patients with ischemic stroke showed a positive correlation with hsCRP (r=0.425, p=0.027). In addition, hsCRP and IDO levels were positively associated with the NIHSS score both at admission and 3 weeks post-stroke. These data suggest an inflammatory response characterized by up-regulated IDO activation in ischemic stroke, which might be closely relevant to its pathophysiology.

Keywords: High-sensitivity C-reactive protein; Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase; Ischemic stroke; Kynurenine acid; Kynurenine aminotransferase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indoleamine-Pyrrole 2,3,-Dioxygenase / blood*
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Stroke / blood
  • Stroke / enzymology*
  • Stroke / pathology
  • Transaminases / blood*


  • Indoleamine-Pyrrole 2,3,-Dioxygenase
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Transaminases
  • kynurenine-oxoglutarate transaminase