Anabolic-androgenic steroids and aggression in castrated male rats

Physiol Behav. 1994 Nov;56(5):1107-13. doi: 10.1016/0031-9384(94)90351-4.


The resident-intruder paradigm of aggression was utilized to evaluate the aggression-inducing properties of two anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) compounds, methyltestosterone and stanozolol, in castrated male rats. Three weekly tests were conducted. On test week three, castrated males treated with methyltestosterone displayed levels of aggression equivalent to the levels displayed by castrated males treated with testosterone propionate on most of the behavioral indices assessed. In contrast, treatment with stanozolol at the dose used in this study was completely ineffective in eliciting aggressive behavior. AAS effects on aggression were mirrored by their ability to stimulate seminal vesicle growth. There were no effects of AAS treatments on the levels of locomotor activity. These findings highlight the heterogeneity of AAS effects on the nervous system and behavior and indicate that the psychological effects reported by human AAS abusers may depend upon the distinct chemical structures of the abused steroids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aggression / drug effects*
  • Agonistic Behavior / drug effects
  • Anabolic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Dominance-Subordination
  • Male
  • Methyltestosterone / pharmacology
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Orchiectomy
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Seminal Vesicles / drug effects
  • Stanozolol / pharmacology
  • Testosterone / pharmacology


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Testosterone
  • Stanozolol
  • Methyltestosterone