Serotonin in human lumbar cerebrospinal fluid: A reassessment

George M. Anderson, Ivan N. Mefford, Teresa J. Tolliver, Mark A. Riddle, Dave M. Ocame, James F. Leckman, Donald J. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


An inter-laboratory comparison study was carried out in order to ascertain mean levels of serotonin (5-HT) in human lumbar cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Analyses were performed using high performance liquid chromatogrophy (HPLC) coupled with either electrochemical (LC-EC) or fluorometric (LC-F) detection. with the detection limits obtained (7-8 pg/ml for LC-EC, 7-15 pg/ml for LC-F) 5-HT was not usually detected in human lumbar CSF. The findings indicate that the true mean concentration of CSF 5-HT is less than 10 pg/ml. This upper limit is substantially lower than all previous reports of 5-HT concentrations in normal lumbar CSF. The extremely low concentrations of 5-HT present in CSF make it unlikely that CSF 5-HT will be of clinical utility in assessing central serotonergic function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-255
Number of pages9
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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