Amino acid (AA) depletion techniques have been used to decrease serotonin (5-HT) and/or dopamine (DA) synthesis after administration of a tryptophan (acute tryptophan depletion, ATD) or phenylalanine/tyrosine-free (phenylalanine-tyrosine depletion, PTD) AA formula and are useful as neurochemical challenge procedures to study the impact of DA and 5-HT in patients with neuropsychiatric disorders. We recently demonstrated that the refined Moja-De ATD paradigm decreases brain 5-HT synthesis in humans and mice and lowers brain 5-HT turnover. In the present study we validated the neurochemical effects of three developed AA formulas on brain 5-HT and DA function in mice. To distinguish the direct and indirect effects of such mixtures on 5-HT and DA and to determine whether additive depletion of both could be obtained simultaneously, we compared the effects of ATD for 5-HT, PTD for DA, and a combined monoamine depletion mixture (CMD) compared to a control condition consisting of a balanced amino acid mixture. Food-deprived male C57BL/6J mice were gavaged with AA mixtures. Serum and brain samples were collected and analyzed for determination of tryptophan (Trp), tyrosine (Tyr), 5-HT, 5-HIAA, DA, DOPAC and HVA levels. ATD was the most effective at decreasing Trp, 5-HT and 5-HIAA. In contrast, PTD reduced Tyr globally but HVA only in certain brain regions. Although CMD affected both 5-HT and DA synthesis, it was less effective when compared with ATD or PTD alone. The present results demonstrate that two newly developed PTD and CMD formulas differentially impact brain 5-HT and DA synthesis relative to 5-HT-specific ATD Moja-De. Different effects on 5-HT and DA function by these mixtures suggest that the exact composition may be a critical determinant for effectiveness with respect to the administered challenge procedure. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Wien.