Nandrolone decanoate induces genetic damage in multiple organs of rats

Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2013 Apr;64(3):514-8. doi: 10.1007/s00244-012-9848-2. Epub 2012 Dec 7.


To evaluate the impact potential of nandrolone decanoate on DNA damage in multiple organs of Wistar rats by means of single-cell gel (comet) assay and micronucleus test. A total of 15 animals were distributed into three groups of five animals each as follows: control group = animal not exposed to nandrolone decanoate; experimental group = animals exposed to nandrolone decanoate for 24 h at 5 mg/kg subcutaneously; and experimental group = animals exposed to nandrolone decanoate for 24 h at 15 mg/kg subcutaneously. Significant statistical differences (p < 0.05) were noted in peripheral blood, liver, and heart cells exposed to nandrolone decanoate at the two doses evaluated. A clear dose-response relationship was observed between groups. Kidney cells showed genetic damage at only the highest dose (15 mg/kg) used. However, micronucleus data did not show remarkable differences among groups. In conclusion, the present study indicates that nandrolone decanoate induces genetic damage in rat blood, liver, heart, and kidney cells as shown by single-cell gel (comet) assay results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anabolic Agents / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Comet Assay
  • DNA Damage*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Erythrocytes / drug effects
  • Erythrocytes / pathology
  • Heart / drug effects
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Micronuclei, Chromosome-Defective / chemically induced*
  • Micronucleus Tests
  • Nandrolone / toxicity*
  • Organ Specificity
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Toxicity Tests


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Nandrolone