Responses of prolactin and growth hormone to L-tryptophan infusion: effects in normal subjects and schizophrenic patients receiving neuroleptics

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1985;86(1-2):164-9. doi: 10.1007/BF00431703.


Intravenous infusion of L-tryptophan (LTP) in 18 normal subjects produced a significant increase in plasma prolactin (PRL), growth hormone (GH), and self-ratings of drowsiness. There was no correlation between the PRL and GH responses, or between the hormonal responses and drowsiness. Saline infusion did not result in endocrine or psychological changes. The effect of LTP on both PRL and GH was dose-related in that LTP 7.5 g produced greater endocrine responses than 5.0 g. It was not significantly decreased by cyproheptadine, a 5-HT receptor antagonist. Schizophrenic patients receiving neuroleptics had increased PRL response to LTP, possibly because of the drug-induced disinhibition of PRL release. Their GH response to LTP was markedly decreased. The mechanism of this effect requires further investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cyproheptadine / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Growth Hormone / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Prolactin / metabolism*
  • Reference Values
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology*
  • Serotonin / physiology*
  • Sleep Stages / drug effects
  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Tryptophan* / adverse effects


  • Cyproheptadine
  • Serotonin
  • Tryptophan
  • Prolactin
  • Growth Hormone