Aims: This study was conducted to assess the isolated and combined effects of nandrolone and resistance training on cardiac morphology, function, and mRNA expression of pathological cardiac hypertrophy markers.
Main methods: Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups and submitted to 6 weeks of treatment with nandrolone and/or resistance training. Cardiac parameters were determined by echocardiography. Heart was analyzed for collagen infiltration. Real-time RT-PCR was used to assess the pathological cardiac hypertrophy markers.
Key findings: Both resistance training and nandrolone induced cardiac hypertrophy. Nandrolone increased the cardiac collagen content, and reduced the cardiac index in non-trained and trained groups, when compared with the respective vehicle-treated groups. Nandrolone reduced the ratio of maximum early to late transmitral flow velocity in non-trained and trained groups, when compared with the respective vehicle-treated groups. Nandrolone reduced the alpha-myosin heavy chain gene expression in both non-trained and trained groups, when compared with the respective vehicle-treated groups. Training reduced the beta-myosin heavy chain gene expression in the groups treated with vehicle and nandrolone. Only the association between training and nandrolone increased the expression of the skeletal alpha-actin gene and atrial natriuretic peptide in the left ventricle.
Significance: This study indicated that nandrolone, whether associated with resistance training or not, induces cardiac hypertrophy, which is associated with enhanced collagen content, re-expression of fetal genes the in left ventricle, and impaired diastolic and systolic function.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.