Kynurenines in the Regulation of Behavior in Insects
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The site and the mechanism of kynurenines effects have drawn much attention after the demonstration of their possible role as endogenous modulators of the NMDA receptor, which are involved in the mediation of basic functions and disorders in the central nervous system, such as learning, memory, ischemia, epilepsy and some degenerative diseases in a variety of species (Stone and Connick, 1985). Since genetics lend a powerful tool to the neurosciences, the mutational dissection of the kynurenine pathway of tryptophan metabolism (KPTM) seems to be fruitful in the elucidation of the mechanisms and behavioral manifestations of the kynurenines. It is noteworthy that biochemical genetics date back to 1941, when the eye-color mutants of Drosophila were used by Beadle and Tatum to demonstrate the exact sequence of reactions via the KPTM.
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