Acute tryptophan depletion: A method of studying antidepressant action

H. L. Miller, P. L. Delgado, R. M. Salomon, J. Licinio, L. C. Barr, D. S. Charney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Serotonin (5-HT) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of depressive syndromes and in the mechanism of antidepressant drug action. Rapid dietary depletion of tryptophan (TRP) provides a paradigm for studying the role of 5- HT in depressed patients. Drug-free depressed patients do not show mood changes during TRP depletion but about one third have a clinically apparent, transient improvement in mood on return to normal TRP intake. Depressed patients in clinical remission after 6 to 8 weeks of antidepressant therapy experience a transient depressive relapse during acute TRP depletion. The significance of these findings will be discussed. Tryptophan depletion in other psychiatric syndromes will also be reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-35
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychiatry
Issue number10 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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