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1.  Enzymatic transamination of d-kynurenine generates kynurenic acid in rat and human brain 
Journal of neurochemistry  2012;120(6):1026-1035.
In the mammalian brain, the α7 nicotinic and NMDA receptor antagonist kynurenic acid is synthesized by irreversible enzymatic transamination of the tryptophan metabolite l-kynure-nine. d-kynurenine, too, serves as a bioprecursor of kynurenic acid in several organs including the brain, but the conversion is reportedly catalyzed through oxidative deamination by d-aminoacid oxidase. Using brain and liver tissue homogenates from rats and humans, and conventional incubation conditions for kynurenine aminotransferases, we show here that kynurenic acid production from d-kynurenine, like the more efficient kynurenic acid synthesis from l-kynurenine, is blocked by the aminotransferase inhibitor amino-oxyacetic acid. In vivo, focal application of 100 µM d-kynurenine by reverse microdialysis led to a steady rise in extracellular kynurenic acid in the rat striatum, causing a 4-fold elevation after 2 h. Attesting to functional significance, this increase was accompanied by a 36% reduction in extracellular dopamine. Both of these effects were duplicated by perfusion of 2 µM l-kynurenine. Co-infusion of amino-oxyacetic acid (2 mM) significantly attenuated the in vivo effects of d-kynurenine and essentially eliminated the effects of l-kynurenine. Thus, enzymatic transamination accounts in part for kynurenic acid synthesis from d-kynurenine in the brain. These results are discussed with regard to implications for brain physiology and pathology.
PMCID: PMC3929305  PMID: 22224417
α7 nicotinic receptor; aminotransferases; dopamine; microdialysis; NMDA receptor; schizophrenia
2.  Bootcamp During Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer: A Randomized Pilot Trial 
Exercise may improve cancer outcomes. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NC) for breast cancer provides a unique setting to evaluate intervention effects. Treatments leading to decreased post-neoadjuvant Ki-67 levels, smaller tumor size, and higher pathologic response are associated with improved survival and lower recurrence. This randomized, prospective pilot trial evaluates the feasibility of supervised exercise during NC for breast cancer.
Stage II-III, ER positive, cancer patients with BMI > 25 receiving NC were randomized to standard NC with supervised bootcamp (NC + BC) or NC alone. Ki-67, C-peptide, BMI, and tumor size were measured before chemotherapy and at time of surgery.
There were no initial differences between groups in regards to tumor size, C-peptide, BMI, and Ki–67. The NC + BC (n = 5) group had a lower mean BMI at the conclusion of NC compared with those (n = 5) in the NC group (28.0 versus 35.8, P = 0.03). Final tumor size was 2.59 cm in the NC + BC group versus 3.16 cm for NC (P = 0.76) Mean Ki-67 for NC + BC was 7% versus 29% with NC (P = 0.14). C-peptide (ng/mL) was equivalent between the two groups (4.55 NC + BC versus 4.74 NC, P = 0.85).
Adding a supervised exercise program to NC is feasible, decreases BMI, and may lead to lower Ki-67 levels and improved survival.
PMCID: PMC3290117  PMID: 22399859
breast cancer; exercise; Ki-67; neoadjuvant chemotherapy

Results 1-2 (2)