Effects of subchronic treatment with valproate on L-5-HTP-induced cortisol responses in mania: Evidence for increased central serotonergic neurotransmission

Michael Maes*, Joseph Calabrese, Karuna Jayathilake, Herbert Y. Meltzer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

The mechanisms underlying the acute and prophylactic antimanic properties of valproate have remained elusive. There are some reports that treatment with valproic acid may increase brain serotonergic neurotransmission in the rodent. This study was carried out in order to investigate the effects of subchronic therapy with valproate on central serotonin metabolism in manic patients. Toward this end, the authors examined plasma cortisol responses to 200 mg (orally) L-5-hydroxy-tryptophan (L-5-HTP) in 10 manic patients both before and after subchronic treatment with valproate. Administration of L-5-HTP resulted in significantly increased cortisol responses both before and after treatment with valproate. The L-5-HTP-induced cortisol responses were significantly higher after treatment with valproate than before treatment. It is suggested that valproate may increase central serotonergic neurotransmission and that this stimulation may play a role in the antimanic effects of valproate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-76
Number of pages10
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume71
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 4 1997

Keywords

  • Cortisol
  • Depression
  • L-5-Hydroxytryptophan
  • Mania
  • Serotonin
  • Valproate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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