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Recent work indicates an intimate interaction of the tryptophan catabolite (TRYCAT) pathways with the melatonergic pathways, primarily via TRYCAT pathway induction taking tryptophan away from the production of serotonin, which is a necessary precursor for the melatonergic pathways. The alpha 7 nicotinic receptor may be significantly modulated by this interaction, given its inactivation by the TRYCAT, kynurenic acid, and its induction by melatonin. Similarly, the aryl hydrocarbon receptor is activated by both kynurenic acid and kynurenine, leading to CYP1A2 and melatonin metabolism, whereas melatonin may act to inhibit the aryl hydrocarbon receptor. These 2 receptors and pathways may therefore be intimately linked, with relevance to a host of intracellular processes of clinical relevance. In this article, these interactions are reviewed. Interestingly, mitochondria may be a site for direct interactions of these pathways and receptors, suggesting that their differential induction may not only be modulating neuronal, glia, and immune cell processes and activity but also be directly acting to regulate mitochondrial functioning. This is likely to have significant consequences as to how an array of diverse central nervous system and psychiatric conditions are conceptualized and treated.
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