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Using an immunohistochemical technique, we have studied the distribution of kynuneric acid (KYNA) and 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid (3-HAA) in a rat brain injury model (trauma). The study was carried out inducing a cerebral ablation of the frontal motor cortex. Two mouse monoclonal specific antibodies previously developed by our group directed against KYNA and 3-HAA were used. In control animals (sham-operated), the expression of both KYNA and 3-HAA was not observed. In animals in which the ablation was performed, the highest number of immunoreactive cells containing KYNA or 3-HAA was observed in the region surrounding the lesion and the number of these cells decreased moving away from the lesion. KYNA and 3-HAA were also observed in the white matter (ipsilateral side) located close to the injured region and in some cells placed in the white matter of the contralateral side. The distribution of KYNA and 3-HAA perfectly matched with the peripheral injured regions. The results found were identical independently of the perfusion date of animals (17, 30 or 54 days after brain injury). For the first time, the presence of KYNA and 3-HAA has been described in a rat trauma model. Moreover, by using a double immunocytochemistry protocol, it has been demonstrated that both metabolites were located in astrocytes. The findings observed suggest that, in cerebral trauma, KYNA and 3-HAA are involved in tissue damage and that these compounds could act, respectively, as a neuroprotector and a neurotoxic. This means that, in trauma, a counterbalance occurs and that a regulation of the indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase (IDO) pathway could be required after a brain injury in order to decrease the deleterious effects of ending metabolites (the neurotoxic picolinic acid). Moreover, the localization of KYNA and 3-HAA in the contralateral side of the lesion suggests that the IDO pathway is also involved in the sprouting and pathfinding that follows a traumatic brain injury.