The biology of tryptophan depletion and mood disorders

Lilach Toker, Shirly Amar, Yuly Bersudsky, Jonathan Benjamin, Ehud Klein, Galila Agam

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    30 Scopus citations


    The involvement of the serotonergic system in the pathophysiology and treatment of affective disorders has been strongly implicated. The tryptophan depletion paradigm is widely used to study the effect of lowering serotonin levels. However, the effects observed in such studies are inconsistent and sometimes contradictory. The present review summarizes and discusses these discrepancies, emphasizing the importance of methodological details such as acute vs. chronic tryptophan depletion, patient's diagnosis and disease state (euthymic vs. acute phase) and previous drug treatment. Acute tryptophan depletion as a predictive test for personalized antidepressant treatment is suggested.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)46-55
    Number of pages10
    JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 2010

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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