Central serotonin activity and aggression: inverse relationship with prolactin response to d-fenfluramine, but not CSF 5-HIAA concentration, in human subjects

Am J Psychiatry. 1997 Oct;154(10):1430-5. doi: 10.1176/ajp.154.10.1430.


Objective: This study compared the nature and magnitude of the relationship between aggression and CSF 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) concentration with that between aggression and the prolactin response to d-fenfluramine challenge in human subjects.

Method: The Life History of Aggression assessment scores of 24 subjects with personality disorders were compared with their lumbar CSF 5-HIAA concentrations and with their prolactin responses to d-fenfluramine challenge.

Results: Aggression was significantly and inversely correlated with prolactin responses to d-fenfluramine challenge but not with lumbar CSF 5-HIAA concentrations in these subjects.

Conclusions: Prolactin response to d-fenfluramine may be more sensitive than lumbar CSF 5-HIAA concentration in detecting a relationship between aggression and central serotonin activity in noncriminally violent human subjects.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aggression / physiology*
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / physiology
  • Female
  • Fenfluramine / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Male
  • Personality Disorders / blood
  • Personality Disorders / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Personality Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Prolactin / blood*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Serotonin / physiology*
  • Violence


  • Fenfluramine
  • Serotonin
  • Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid
  • Prolactin