Collagen synthesis in postmenopausal women during therapy with anabolic steroid or female sex hormones

Metabolism. 1990 Nov;39(11):1167-9. doi: 10.1016/0026-0495(90)90089-u.


The effect of anabolic steroid therapy and estrogen-progestogen substitution therapy on serum concentration of procollagen type III aminoterminal peptide (PIIINP), a measure of collagen synthesis, in postmenopausal women was studied in two double-blind studies: (1) 39 women allocated to treatment with either 50 mg nandrolone decanoate as an intramuscular depot or placebo injections every third week for 1 year, and (2) 40 women allocated to receive either 2 mg 17 beta-estradiol plus 1 mg norethisterone acetate daily or placebo tablets for 1 year. Serum PIIINP was measured every 3 months during the study. Anabolic steroid therapy resulted in a more than 50% increase (P less than .001) in serum PIIINP at 3 months, which thereafter decayed but remained significantly increased throughout the study period. Serum PIIINP showed the same pattern during estrogen-progestogen therapy, but to a lesser degree. We conclude that anabolic steroids stimulate type III collagen synthesis in postmenopausal women, while estrogen-progestogen therapy may have such an effect, but only to a lesser degree.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anabolic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Collagen / biosynthesis*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Estradiol / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Menopause / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nandrolone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Nandrolone / therapeutic use
  • Nandrolone Decanoate
  • Norethindrone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Norethindrone / therapeutic use
  • Norethindrone Acetate
  • Peptide Fragments / blood
  • Procollagen / blood


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Drug Combinations
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Procollagen
  • procollagen Type III-N-terminal peptide
  • Estradiol
  • Nandrolone
  • Collagen
  • Norethindrone Acetate
  • Nandrolone Decanoate
  • Norethindrone