Determination of tryptophan and several of its metabolites in physiological samples by reversed-phase liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection

J Chromatogr. 1979 Dec 1;164(4):444-55.


A new method for the concurrent assay of three tryptophan metabolites at the picomole level is described. The method has been developed for blood, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, and tissue samples such as whole brain, brain parts, and endocrine glands. Tryptophan itself, serotonin, and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid are isolated initially on extraction columns, eluted with a suitable solvent, and injected onto a liquid chromatograph with an amperometric detector. This general approach may be applicable to a variety of other tryptophan metabolites and should be useful in both research and clinical investigations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods*
  • Humans
  • Indoleacetic Acids / blood
  • Indoleacetic Acids / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Indoleacetic Acids / urine
  • Rats
  • Serotonin / blood
  • Serotonin / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Serotonin / urine
  • Tryptophan / blood*
  • Tryptophan / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Tryptophan / urine


  • Indoleacetic Acids
  • Serotonin
  • Tryptophan