Verification studies of tryptophan and kynurenine determination using HPLC and evaluation of the kynurenine pathway and neopterin levels in human colostrum samples

GİRGİN G., Sanajou S., Meric-Deliveli S., BAYDAR T.

Biomedical Chromatography, vol.38, no.2, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 38 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/bmc.5791
  • Journal Name: Biomedical Chromatography
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, Chimica, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: colostrum, kynurenine, neopterin, tryptophan
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Colostrum, the first breast fluid produced by mammals after giving birth, is followed by breast milk, which serves as the sole source of nutrients for breastfed newborns and infants. Tryptophan, an essential amino acid, plays a crucial role in the development and maturation of the central nervous system in infants. Tryptophan is primarily degraded through the kynurenine pathway. Owing to its sensitivity to dietary intake, immune-mediated tryptophan degradation is assessed by the kynurenine-to-tryptophan ratio, with a focus on one of the rate-limiting enzymes in the pathway. This study involved the validation of the simultaneous determination of tryptophan and kynurenine using HPLC. The validated method was then used to detect levels of tryptophan and kynurenine, as well as to calculate the kynurenine-to-tryptophan ratio in colostrum samples. Simultaneously, these results were compared with colostrum neopterin levels measured using commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits. The mean levels for tryptophan, kynurenine, and neopterin were 17.3 ± 62.4 μM, 0.45 ± 0.03 μM, and 28.9 ± 2.6 nM, respectively. This study is among the few that have evaluated these parameters in colostrum samples. Neopterin levels secreted by the mammary gland were found not to be correlated with tryptophan degradation, a process influenced by the mother’s nutritional status.