This study evaluated the effects of nandrolone associated with resistance training (RT) on cardiac cytokines, angiotensin-converting enzyme activity (ACEA), and the sensitivity of the Bezold-Jarisch reflex (BJR). Male Wistar rats were divided into 3 groups: CONT (received vehicle, no training); EXERC (RT: after one week of water adaptation, rats were exercised by jumping into water twice a week for 4 weeks), and ND+EXERC (received nandrolone decanoate 10 mg/kg, twice/week, i.m, associated with RT). The BJR was analysed by measuring bradycardic and hypotensive responses elicited by serotonin administration. Myocyte hypertrophy and matrix collagen deposition were determined by morphometric analysis of H&E and picrosirius red-stained samples, respectively. TNF-α and ACEA were also studied. RT promoted physiological myocyte hyrpertrophy but did not cause changes in the other parameters. The association of ND with RT increased myocyte hypertrophy, deposition of matrix type I collagen, TNF-α and ACEA; decreased IL-10, and impairment in the BJR were observed in ND+EXERC compared with CONT and EXERC. ND is associated with alterations in cardiac structure and function as a result of the development of pathological cardiac hypertrophy (cardiac cytokine imbalance, elevation of ACEA) and cardiac injury, even when combined with resistance training.
Keywords: anabolic steroids; angiotensin II; angiotensine II; cardiac hypertrophy; cardiac remodelation; cardiopulmonary reflex; cytokines; entraînement; hypertrophie cardiaque; remodelage cardiaque; réflexe cardio-pulmonaire; stéroïdes anabolisants; training.