Nandrolone slows hindlimb bone loss in a rat model of bone loss due to denervation

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2010 Mar;1192:303-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.05313.x.


Nandrolone is an anabolic steroid that has been demonstrated to reduce the loss of bone and muscle from hindlimb unweighting and to slow muscle atrophy after nerve transection. To determine whether nandrolone has the ability to protect bone against loss due to disuse after denervation, male rats underwent sciatic nerve transaction, followed 28 days later by treatment with nandrolone or vehicle for 28 days. Bone mineral density (BMD) was determined 28 days later or 56 days after nerve transection. Denervation led to reductions in BMD of 7% and 12% for femur and tibia, respectively. Nandrolone preserved 80% and 60% of BMD in femur and tibia, respectively, demonstrating that nandrolone administration significantly reduced loss of BMD from denervation. This study offers a potential novel pharmacological strategy for use of nandrolone to reduce bone loss in severe disuse- and denervation-related bone loss, such as that which occurs after spinal cord injury.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anabolic Agents / pharmacology
  • Anabolic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Bone Density / drug effects
  • Bone Resorption / etiology
  • Bone Resorption / prevention & control*
  • Denervation*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Femur / innervation
  • Femur / pathology
  • Hindlimb* / drug effects
  • Hindlimb* / innervation
  • Hindlimb* / pathology
  • Male
  • Nandrolone / pharmacology
  • Nandrolone / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sciatic Nerve / surgery
  • Tibia / innervation
  • Tibia / pathology


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Nandrolone