Use of high-dose nandrolone aggravates septic shock in a mouse model

Kaohsiung J Med Sci. 2011 Jun;27(6):222-9. doi: 10.1016/j.kjms.2010.12.015. Epub 2011 Mar 31.


Nandrolone, an anabolic-androgenic steroid, is widely misused by athletes who wish to rapidly increase muscle mass and performance. An increasing number of reports have indicated that nandrolone may affect and modulate the immune system. This study aimed to investigate the effects of nandrolone on septic shock-caused immune responses and the cellular mechanism of action using a sepsis murine model. Before septic shock induction, BALB/c mice were given a high dose of nandrolone or peanut oil only. After septic shock induction, mice were sacrificed at different time points. Their blood and tissue specimens were analyzed. It was found that the high-dose nandrolone group had significantly increased mortality compared with the control group (p<0.001). The serum malondialdehyde level was significantly increased in the high-dose group compared with the control group. Animals administered a high dose of nandrolone had significantly increased hepatic tumor necrosis factor-α or splenic interferon-γ at 0 and 6 hours. In lung tissue, insulin-like growth factor-1, insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs) and insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor, and IGFBP1 and IGFBP2 mRNA expression were increased in the high-dose nandrolone group at 6 hours. Nandrolone abuse may hasten the death of patients with septic shock and may aggravate septic shock in mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Load / drug effects
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 1 / metabolism
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / pathology
  • Lung / drug effects
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Nandrolone / administration & dosage*
  • Nandrolone / adverse effects*
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1 / metabolism
  • Shock, Septic / chemically induced*
  • Shock, Septic / microbiology
  • Spleen / drug effects
  • Spleen / pathology
  • Survival Analysis


  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 1
  • Nandrolone
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1