Letter | Published:

5-Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid Levels in the Cerebrospinal Fluid of Depressive Patients treated with Probenecid

Naturevolume 225pages12591260 (1970) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

ACCORDING to the serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) hypothesis there is a causal relationship between mental depression and 5-HT deficiency in the brain1–3. Some depressive patients—mainly those suffering from an endogenous depression—display the following clinical signs. (1) The concentration of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) (refs. 4 and 5) and the urinary concentrations of 5-HT (ref. 6) and 5-HIAA (refs. 7 and 8) are unusually low. (2) The transformation of 5-hydroxytryptophan into 5-HT seems to be defective9 (although in a later publication Coppen1 reported his inability to reproduce these findings). (3) Precursors of 5-HT which readily enter the brain—5-hydroxytryptophan10 and tryptophan11—can have a therapeutic effect. Finally, in suicide victims the cerebral concentration of indoleamines proved to differ from that in a control group and, according to Shaw et al.12, the 5-HT concentrations were diminished. Bourne et al.13 were unable to corroborate this but did find a diminished concentration of 5-HIAA.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Coppen, A., Brit. J. Psychiat., 113, 1237 (1967).

  2. 2

    Lapin, T. P., and Oxenbrug, G. F., Lancet, i, 132 (1969).

  3. 3

    van Praag, H. M., Pharmakopsychiat. Neuropsychopharmak., 3, 151 (1969).

  4. 4

    Ashcroft, G. W., Crawford, T. B. B., Eccleston, D., Sharman, D. F., Mac-Dougall, E. J., Stanton, J. B., and Binns, J. K., Lancet, ii, 1049 (1966).

  5. 5

    Denker, S. J., J. Neurochem., 13, 1545 (1966).

  6. 6

    Rodnight, R., Internat. Rev. Neurobiol., 3, 251 (1961).

  7. 7

    Praag, H. M. van, and Leijnse, B., Psychopharmacologia, 4, 1 (1963).

  8. 8

    Praag, H. M. van, Korf, J., Woudenberg, F. van., and Kits, T. P., Psychopharmacologia, 13, 145 (1968).

  9. 9

    Coppen, A., Shaw, D. M., and Malleson, A. J., Brit. J. Psychiat., 111, 105 (1965).

  10. 10

    Person, T., and Roos, B.-E., Lancet, ii, 987 (1967).

  11. 11

    Coppen, A., Shaw, D. M., Herzberg, B., and Maggs, R., Lancet, ii, 1178 (1967).

  12. 12

    Shaw, D. M., Camps, F. E., and Eccleston, E. C., Brit. J. Psychiat., 113, 1407 (1967).

  13. 13

    Bourne, H. R., Bunney, W. E., Colburn, R. W., Davis, J. M., Davis, J. N., Shaw, D. M., and Coppen, A. J., Lancet, ii, 805 (1968).

  14. 14

    Neff, N. H., Tozer, T. N., and Brodie, B. B., J. Pharmacol., 158, 214 (1967).

  15. 15

    Guldberg, H. C., Ashcroft, G. W., and Crawford, T. B. B., Life Sci., 5, 1571 (1966).

  16. 16

    Bowers, Jun., M. B., and Gerbode, F., Life Sci., 7, 773 (1968).

  17. 17

    Guldberg, H. C., in Metabolism of Amines in the Brain (edit. by Hooper, G.), 55 (Macmillan, London, 1969).

  18. 18

    Olsson, R., and Roos, B.-E., Nature, 219, 502 (1968).

  19. 19

    Praag, H. M. van, Uleman, A. M., and Spitz, J. C., Psychiat. Neural. Neurochirur., 68, 329 (1965).

  20. 20

    Korf, J., and Valkenburgh-Sikkema, T., Clin. Chim. Acta, 26, 301 (1969).

  21. 21

    van Praag, H. M., Brit. J. Psychiat., 114, 1195 (1968).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Biological Psychiatry and University Psychiatric Clinic, State University, Groningen

    • H. M. VAN PRAAG
    • , J. KORF
    •  & J. PUITE

Authors

  1. Search for H. M. VAN PRAAG in:

  2. Search for J. KORF in:

  3. Search for J. PUITE in:

About this article

Publication history

Received

Revised

Issue Date

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/2251259b0

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.