High doses of nandrolone decanoate reduce volume of testis and length of seminiferous tubules in rats

APMIS. 2005 Feb;113(2):122-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0463.2005.apm1130205.x.


Anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) compounds rank among the drugs most widely abused with the goal of improving athletic ability, appearance, or muscle mass. It has been shown that these compounds have adverse effects on human and animal physiology and sperm quality, but quantitative structural changes of the testis have received less attention. The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of nandrolone decanoate, which is one of the AAS compounds, on testis weight and volume, diameter and length of seminiferous tubules in rats by unbiased stereological methods. Adult rats were divided into three groups. The first comprised control rats; the second and third groups received low and high doses of nandrolone decanoate for 14 weeks. The rats were then left untreated for 14 weeks. After removal of the testis, stereological study of these tissues showed that the mean volume of testis and length of the seminiferous tubules in the animals that received high doses of nandrolone decanoate were reduced approximately 32% (p<0.01) and approximately 31% (p<0.04), respectively, in comparison with the control group. It can be concluded that the high doses of nandrolone decanoate produce structural changes in the rat testis that remain 14 weeks after stopping injection of the drug.

MeSH terms

  • Anabolic Agents / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Male
  • Nandrolone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Nandrolone / toxicity*
  • Nandrolone Decanoate
  • Rats
  • Seminiferous Tubules / drug effects*
  • Testis / drug effects*


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Nandrolone
  • Nandrolone Decanoate