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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2002 Feb;159(4):432-6. Epub 2001 Nov 28.

Chromium treatment decreases the sensitivity of 5-HT2A receptors.

Author information

1
University Department of Psychiatry, Neurosciences Building, Warneford Hospital, Oxford OX3 7JX, UK.

Abstract

RATIONALE:

Recent case series suggest that chromium picolinate in doses of 400 microg daily may have antidepressant properties, perhaps through increasing the peripheral availability of tryptophan for brain serotonin (5-HT) synthesis.

OBJECTIVES:

To determine the effects of chromium treatment on plasma tryptophan availability and on brain 5-HT function in human and animal models.

METHODS:

We studied the effects of short-term chromium supplementation on plasma concentrations of tryptophan and other large neutral amino acids. Brain 5-HT function was assessed by measuring the corticosterone/cortisol response to the 5-HT precursor, 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), a response believed to be mediated via indirect activation of 5-HT(2A) receptors.

RESULTS:

In rats, chromium increased peripheral and central tryptophan availability and elevated brain 5-HT content. Changes in peripheral tryptophan availability were not seen in humans but in both rats and humans, chromium lowered the cortisol response to challenge with 5-HTP.

CONCLUSIONS:

Chromium can modify brain 5-HT function in humans and animals, perhaps by altering the sensitivity of central 5-HT(2A) receptors.

PMID:
11823896
DOI:
10.1007/s00213-001-0960-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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