Tryptophan diet reduces aggressive behavior in male mice

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A tryptophan diet reduces aggressive behavior in different species, although some controversial findings have been reported. We studied 65 male mice divided into four groups according to increasing dosages of tryptophan (10, 20, 30, and 100 mg/kg) and a control group (vehicle). The first four groups ingested 10, 20, 30, and 100 mg/kg tryptophan together with cellulose vehicle and water by gavage before the behavioral tests that sought to record aggressive behavior. The control group received only the vehicle at the same time that the other groups received the tryptophan solutions. The results showed that low concentrations (10 and 20 mg/kg) of tryptophan decreased (p < .04) the frequency of attack bites and lateral threats (i.e., aggressive components; p < .02) after an encounter with a male intruder without altering locomotor activity. In conclusion, the low concentrations of tryptophan diminished aggressive behavior against a male intruder.

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