The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor initially identified because of its role in controlling the cellular response to environmental molecules. More recently, AHR has been shown to play a crucial role in controlling innate and adaptive immune responses through several mechanisms, one of which is the regulation of tryptophan metabolism. Indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) and tryptophan-2,3-dioxygenase (TDO) are considered rate-limiting enzymes in the tryptophan catabolism and play important roles in the regulation of the immunity. Moreover, AHR and IDO/TDO are closely interconnected: AHR regulates IDO and TDO expression, and kynurenine produced by IDO/TDO is an AHR agonist. In this review, we propose to examine the relationship between AHR and IDO/TDO and its relevance for the regulation of the immune response in health and disease.
Keywords: 2,3-dioxygenase; aryl hydrocarbon receptor; tryptophan-2,3-dioxygenase.