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Wenninger, J; Meinitzer, A; Holasek, S; Schnedl, WJ; Zelzer, S; Mangge, H; Herrmann, M; Enko, D.
Associations between tryptophan and iron metabolism observed in individuals with and without iron deficiency.
Sci Rep. 2019; 9(1):14548-14548 Doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-51215-8 [OPEN ACCESS]
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Führende Autor*innen der Med Uni Graz
Enko Dietmar
Wenninger Julian
Co-Autor*innen der Med Uni Graz
Herrmann Markus
Holasek Sandra Johanna
Mangge Harald
Meinitzer Andreas
Schnedl Wolfgang
Zelzer Sieglinde

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Current literature proposes associations between tryptophan metabolism and anaemia. However, study cohorts are rather small and final conclusions are still lacking. Here, we evaluated potential associations of tryptophan, kynurenine, and kynurenic acid with indicators of iron metabolism (i.e., mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular haemoglobin, ferritin, transferrin saturation, serum iron, transferrin, soluble transferrin receptor, reticulocyte haemoglobin) and haemoglobin in 430 individuals grouped by the presence or absence of iron deficiency or anaemia. Indicators of tryptophan metabolism were positively correlated with haemoglobin and markers of iron metabolism (p-values: <0.001-0.038; r-values: 0.100-0.305). The strongest correlation was observed between tryptophan and haemoglobin (p < 0.001, r = 0.305). The cubic regression model yielded the highest R-square values between haemoglobin and tryptophan markers. Overall, 115 patients with iron deficiency showed lower tryptophan and kynurenic acid concentrations compared to 315 individuals without iron deficiency. Six patients with anaemia of chronic disease were observed with the lowest serum tryptophan levels and the highest kynurenine/tryptophan ratio compared to 11 individuals with iron deficiency anaemia and 413 non-anaemic patients. This study showed little/moderate associations between haemoglobin, biomarkers of iron metabolism and tryptophan markers. Further studies are needed to get better insight in the causality of these findings.

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