5-hydroxytryptophan

Definition / meaning of 5-hydroxytryptophan

An aromatic amino acid with antidepressant activity. In vivo, 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is converted into 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT or serotonin) as well as other neurotransmitters. 5-HTP may exert its antidepressant activity via conversion to serotonin or directly by binding to serotonin (5-HT) receptors within the central nervous system (CNS). Endogenous 5-HTP is produced from the essential amino acid L-tryptophan. Exogenous therapeutic 5-HTP is isolated from the seeds of the African plant Griffonia simplicifolia.

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Source(s):

The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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