Modulation of Tryptophan and Serotonin Metabolism as a Biochemical Basis of the Behavioral Effects of Use and Withdrawal of Androgenic-Anabolic Steroids and Other Image- and Performance-Enhancing Agents
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Modulation of tryptophan (Trp) metabolism may underpin the behavioral effects of androgenic-anabolic steroids (AAS) and associated image and performance enhancers. Euphoria, arousal, and decreased anxiety observed with moderate use and exercise may involve enhanced cerebral serotonin synthesis and function by increased release of albumin-bound Trp and estrogen-mediated liver Trp 2,3-dioxygenase (TDO) inhibition and enhancement of serotonin function. Aggression, anxiety, depression, personality disorders, and psychosis, observed on withdrawal of AAS or with use of large doses, can be caused by decreased serotonin synthesis due to TDO induction on withdrawal, excess Trp inhibiting the 2 enzymes of serotonin synthesis, and increased cerebral levels of neuroactive kynurenines. Exercise and excessive protein and branched-chain amino acid intakes may aggravate the effects of large AAS dosage. The hypothesis is testable in humans and experimental animals by measuring parameters of Trp metabolism and disposition and related metabolic processes.
International Journal of Tryptophan Research;
Badawy, A.A. (2018) 'Modulation of Tryptophan and Serotonin Metabolism as a Biochemical Basis of the Behavioral Effects of Use and Withdrawal of Androgenic-Anabolic Steroids and Other Image-and Performance-Enhancing Agents', International Journal of Tryptophan Research, 11, p.1178646917753422. DOI: 10.1177/1178646917753422.
Article published in International Journal of Tryptophan Research on 19 February 2018, available open access at: https://doi.org/10.1177/1178646917753422.
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))