Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects 10-15% of the population. Although characterised by a lack of reliable biological markers, the disease state is increasingly viewed as a disorder of the brain-gut axis. In particular, accumulating evidence points to the involvement of both the central and peripheral serotonergic systems in disease symptomatology. Furthermore, altered tryptophan metabolism and indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) activity are hallmarks of many stress-related disorders. The kynurenine pathway of tryptophan degradation may serve to link these findings to the low level immune activation recently described in IBS. In this study, we investigated tryptophan degradation in a male IBS cohort (n = 10) and control subjects (n = 26).