Stanozonol (ST) is a synthetic derivative of testosterone; it has anabolic/androgenic activity, increasing both the turnover of trabecular bone and the endocortical apposition of bone. The present study aimed to examine the effects of ST on bone status in rats by bone mineral content, markers of formation and resorption, bone density, and structural and microarchitectural parameters. Twenty male Wistar rats were randomly distributed into two experimental groups corresponding to placebo or ST administration, which consisted of weekly intramuscular injections of 10 mg/kg body weight of ST. Plasma parameters were analyzed by immunoassay. Bone mineral content was determined by spectrophotometry. Bone mineral density (BMD) and structural parameters were measured by peripheral quantitative computed tomography, and trabecular and cortical microarchitecture by micro-computed tomography. Plasma Ca, Mg, and alkaline phosphatase were higher, and urinary Ca excretion, corticosterone, and testosterone concentrations lower in the ST group. Femur Ca content was higher and P content was lower in the ST, whereas osteocalcin, aminoterminal propeptides of type I procollagen, and C-terminal telopeptides of type I collagen were lower. Total cross-sectional, trabecular, and cortical/subcortical areas were lower in the ST. No differences were observed on BMD and area parameters of the diaphysis as well as on trabecular and cortical microarchitecture. The use of ST increases bone mineralization, ash percentage, and Ca and Mg content in femur. In spite of an absence of changes in BMD, geometric metaphyseal changes were observed. We conclude that ST alters bone geometry, leads to low bone turnover, and thus may impair bone quality.
Keywords: Bone mineral content; Bone mineral density; Bone properties; Stanozolol; pQCT; μCT.