Cardiovascular and Endocrine Properties of L-Tryptophan in Combination with Various Diets

  • H. Lehnert
  • J. Beyer
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 294)


Brain serotonin neurons are intimately involved in a number of relevant physiological functions such as cardiovascular regulation, neuroendocrine output from the anterior pituitary (e.g. ACTH, prolactin), regulation of behavior (e.g. agression, sleep, locomotor and sexual behavior), mood or appetite control (Fernstrom, 1983; Lehnert et al., 1987; Spring et al., 1987; Wurtman, 1987). The synthesis of brain serotonin is dependent on the availability of the large neutral amino acid L-tryptophan that is hydroxylated to 5-L-hydroxytryptophan and subsequently decarboxylated to yield serotonin. The rate-limiting enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase has a Michaelis constant of approximately 2–3 x 10−5 M with tetrahydrobiopterin used as a cofactor (Tong and Kaufmann, 1975) and thus approximates normal brain tryptophan concentrations of about 1–5 x 10−5 M. Therefore, the enzyme is not saturated under normal circumstances and an increased availability of brain tryptophan will lead to an enhanced synthesis of brain serotonin (Fernstrom and Wurtman, 1971; Fernstrom, 1983).


Blood Pressure Level Prolactin Secretion Plasma Amino Acid Brain Serotonin Precursor Amino Acid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Lehnert
    • 1
  • J. Beyer
    • 1
  1. 1.IIIrd Medical Clinic Dept. of Endocrinology and MetabolismUniversity of MainzGermany

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