The impact of nandrolone decanoate and growth hormone on biosynthesis of steroids in rats

Steroids. 2013 Dec 11;78(12-13):1192-9. doi: 10.1016/j.steroids.2013.08.012. Epub 2013 Sep 5.


Growth hormone (GH) and anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) are commonly used in sports communities. Several studies have suggested an association between GH and AAS. We have investigated the impact of GH in rats treated with nandrolone decanoate (ND). Male Wistar rats received ND (15 mg/kg) every third day during three weeks and were subsequently treated with recombinant human GH (1.0I U/kg) for ten consecutive days. Plasma samples were collected and peripheral organs (i.e. heart, liver, testis and thymus) were dissected and weighed. Concentration of thirteen endogenous steroids was measured in the rat plasma samples using high specificity LC-MS/MS methods. Seven steroids were detected and quantified, and concentrations of estrone, testosterone, and androstenedione were significantly different among the groups, while concentrations of pregnenolone, DHEA, 17-hydroxyprogesterone and corticosterone were not altered. Administration of rhGH alone altered the plasma steroid distribution, and the results demonstrated significantly increased concentrations of plasma estrone as well as decreased concentrations of testosterone and androstenedione in the ND-treated rats. Administration of rhGH to ND-pretreated rats did not reverse the alteration of the steroid distribution induced by ND. Administration of ND decreased the weight of the thymus, and addition of rhGH did not reverse this reduction. However, rhGH administration induced an enlargement of thymus. Taken together, the plasma steroid profile differed in the four groups, i.e. control, AAS, rhGH and the combination of AAS and rhGH treatment.

Keywords: Anabolic androgenic steroids; Androstenedione; Estrone; Growth hormone; Testosterone; Thymus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anabolic Agents / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / biosynthesis*
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / blood
  • Growth Hormone / toxicity*
  • Heart / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Male
  • Nandrolone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Nandrolone / toxicity
  • Nandrolone Decanoate
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances / toxicity
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Steroids / biosynthesis*
  • Steroids / blood
  • Testis / drug effects
  • Thymus Gland / drug effects


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances
  • Steroids
  • Nandrolone
  • Growth Hormone
  • Nandrolone Decanoate