Send to

Choose Destination
J Pediatr. 2005 Nov;147(5):592-6.

Prenatal impairment of brain serotonergic transmission in infants.

Author information

Laboratory of Developmental Neurochemistry, Specialties Hospital, XXI Century National Medical Center, Mexican Institute of Social Security, Av. Cuauhtémoc 330, Col. Doctores, CP 06720, Mexico City, Mexico.



To evaluate whether the free fraction of L-tryptophan (L-Trp) and the N1/P2 component of the auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) are associated with impaired brain serotonin neurotransmission in infants with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR).


We measured free, bound, and total plasma L-Trp and recorded the N1/P2 component of AEP in a prospective, longitudinal, and comparative study comparing IUGR and control infants.


Plasma free L-Trp was increased and the amplitude of N1/P2 component was significantly decreased in IUGR relative to control infants. The free fraction of L-Trp and N1/P2 component had a negative association.


In newborns with IUGR, the changes in measured plasma free fraction of L-Trp and in the amplitude the N1/P2 component of the AEP suggest an inverse association between free L-Trp and components of the AEP. The changes observed in the free fraction of L-Trp and AEP may be causally associated with brain serotonergic activity in utero. In IUGR, epigenetic factors such as stress-induced disturbances in brain serotonin metabolism or serotonergic activity, identifiable by alterations in AEP, influence cerebral sensory cortex development and may be causally associated with serotonin-related disorders in adulthood.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center