Preprint / Version 1

What is the impact of 5-Hydroxytryptophan on Caenorhabditis Elegans (N2) behavior?


  • Sumuga Swaminathan Student
  • Aksitha Sree Vijayakumar Lakshmipriya Student



C.Elegans, Caenorhabditis Elegans, Psychology, Neuroscience, Antidepressants, Serotoning, 5-Hydroxytryptophan


Depression affects approximately 9.5% of American adults, leading to increased dependence on antidepressant medication. Consequently, a recurrent use of a drug called 5-HTP sparked the interest of depressive patients. With a comprehensive understanding of the potential side effects of the drug, it makes it more reliant to use. It was necessary to understand the long-term probable effects it has on locomotion. Our hypothesis posits that consistent consumption of this medication would lead to a reduction in center point speed. To do this, our research studied its effects on Caenorhabditis Elegans (N2) behavior. We fed them 0.0125 mL of a 200mg 5-HTP x 50 mL of OP-50 food source to the experimental group and 0.0125 mL of the OP-50 food source. We fed them during two intervals, one in the morning (8:10-8:15) and one in the afternoon (1:15-1:20), while observing them through a light microscope before we fed them. Using an iPhone 14 Pro camera, we inputted the videos onto Wormlab, tracking their center point speed (μm/s) and distance traveled forward (μm). The results were observed to conclude the delayed movement of drug-induced C.Elegans compared to the control group. The quantitative conclusion includes an average center point speed of 167.32 μm for the control group and 148.42 μm for the experimental group. 

Author Biography

Sumuga Swaminathan, Student

Class of 2026 

A neuropassionate who is extremely interested in doing research dedicated to neuroscience and psychology. 


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