Influence of high-intensity exercise training and anabolic androgenic steroid treatment on rat tissue glycogen content

Life Sci. 2005 Jul 15;77(9):1030-43. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2005.03.001. Epub 2005 Mar 31.


To increase tissue glycogen content many athletes use anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS). However, the literature concerning the effects of androgens on glycogen metabolism is conflicting. This study aimed to determine the influence of training and AAS on body weight (bw), triglycerides, glucose, tissue glycogen and transaminases levels. Male Wistar rats, randomized into four groups (sedentary vehicle (SV), sedentary AAS (SA), trained vehicle (TV) and trained AAS (TA)), were treated with nadrolone (5 mg/Kg, 2x/week, i.m.) or vehicle. Trained rats performed jumps into water (4 sets, 10 repetitions, 30 sec rest) carrying a 50-70% body wt-load strapped to the chest (5 days/week,6 weeks). Two days after the last session, the animals were killed (bifatorial ANOVA+Tukey test; P < 0.05). Trained animals presented lower bw (TV:345+/-7 vs. SV:380+/-7 and TA:328+/-4 vs SA:370+/-11 g) and triglycerides levels (TV:77+/-3 vs. SV:98+/-4 and TA:79+/-3 vs. SA:98+/-8 mg/dL) and higher glycogen content in liver (TV:5.3+/-0.2 vs. SV:3.9+/-0.1 and TA:5.3+/-0.3 vs. SA:4.6+/-0,2 mg/100 mg) and in gastrocnemious (TV:0.70+/-0.02 vs. SV:0.49+/-0.01 and TA:0.73+/-0.03 vs. SA:0.57+/-0.02 mg/100 mg) than sedentary ones. In the cardiac muscle, the association between training and AAS increased glycogen content (TA:0.19+/-0.01 > SV:0.13+/-0.01=TV:0.13+/-0.01=SA:0.14+/-0.01 mg/100 mg). In the soleus AAS increased glycogen (SA:0.53+/-0.03 vs. SV:0.43+/-0.01 and TA:0.58+/-0.02 vs. TV:0.48+/-0.01 mg/100 mg). Exercise training and AAS had no effect on blood glucose and transaminases levels. Training and AAS effects on glycogen supercompensation are tissue-dependent and the effects of association between them were only observed in the cardiac muscle. These data emphasize the necessity of more studies to confirm greater effects of AAS than those promoted by physical exercise.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anabolic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Androgens / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Glycogen / metabolism*
  • Liver Glycogen / metabolism
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Nandrolone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Nandrolone / pharmacology*
  • Nandrolone Decanoate
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Androgens
  • Liver Glycogen
  • Nandrolone
  • Glycogen
  • Nandrolone Decanoate