Cerebrospinal fluid 5-hydroxytryptamine and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid in HIV-1 infection

Adarsh M. Kumar, Joseph R. Berger, Carl Eisdorfer, J. B. Fernandez, Karl Goodkin, Mahendra Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Reduced level of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) in humans has been associated with a number of mental health and behavioral problems including depression, aggression, violence, sexual dysfunctions, sleep and eating disorders. Even though among HIV-1-infected individuals, prevalence of mental health and behavioral problems are common, their relationship with central nervous system serotonin functions is not clearly understood. This investigation was carried out to study the status of CSF 5-HT in HIV-1+ subjects (n = 21), in the early stage of infection, and HIV-1- control subjects (n = 24). Samples of CSF were obtained by lumbar puncture and were analyzed for 5-HT and its metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), using high-performance liquid chromatography equipped with electrochemical detector. Levels of CSF 5-HT were significantly lower in the HIV-1+ group compared to the HIV-1- group. There was no significant difference in the CSF 5-HIAA levels between the two groups. In both groups, however, there was a significant correlation between CSF 5-HT and 5-HIAA. In the HIV-1+ group, although CSF 5-HT level was significantly negatively correlated with serostatus, there was no correlation between either CSF 5-HT or 5-HIAA levels and CD4 cell number or any behavioral measures evaluated in this study, including Beck's Depression Inventory and state/trait anxiety scores. These data suggest that HIV-1 infection affects the CNS 5-HT status with no significant association with measures of depression and anxiety, at least in the early stage of infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-18
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • 5-Hydroxyindoleacetic acid
  • 5-Hydroxytryptamine
  • CSF
  • HIV-1 infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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