[3H]dexamethasone binding activity in liver microsomes is modulated differently by 17 alpha-alkylated androgens and testosterone in vivo

Pharmacol Toxicol. 1995 Oct;77(4):264-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0773.1995.tb01025.x.


Rat liver microsomes contain a single class of steroid binding sites, capable of binding various glucocorticoids and progesterone. In a previous article, we have described the in vitro interaction of several androgens with this binding site. Unlike natural androgens, the 17 alpha-alkyl derivatives stanozolol and danazol were capable of interacting with this binding site through a negative allosteric pattern. Now, the effects these steroids exert on the microsomal [3H]dexamethasone binding site have been studied in vivo. The administration of a single dose of stanozolol to rats provoked a significant reduction in the microsomal [3H]dexamethasone binding capacity. This effect was maximal two hr after stanozolol administration and persisted for six hr. The restoration of the [3H]dexamethasone binding level after stanozolol administration was dependent on protein synthesis, since it was blocked by the concomitant administration of cycloheximide. None of the other androgens tested (danazol, methyltestosterone, fluoxymesterone, and testosterone propionate) was capable of provoking a similar effect when administered 2 or 24 hr prior to sacrifice. In rats treated for seven days with a daily dose of diverse androgens and sacrificed 24 hr after the last treatment, none of the 17 alpha-alkyl androgens assayed provoked significant changes in the microsomal [3H]dexamethasone binding level, although stanozolol, danazol, and methyltestosterone provoked a significant increase in glucocorticoid receptor concentration. In contrast, the administration of testosterone propionate provoked a 50% reduction in the [3H]dexamethasone binding level without causing changes in the glucocorticoid receptor concentration. These results provide new evidence on the existence of different effects on the liver of 17 alpha-alkyl androgens, compared to the effects produced by natural androgens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anabolic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Cycloheximide / pharmacology
  • Danazol / pharmacology
  • Dexamethasone / metabolism*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Estrogen Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Male
  • Microsomes, Liver / drug effects*
  • Microsomes, Liver / metabolism
  • Protein Synthesis Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid / metabolism
  • Stanozolol / pharmacology
  • Testosterone / pharmacology*
  • Tritium / metabolism


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Estrogen Antagonists
  • Protein Synthesis Inhibitors
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid
  • Tritium
  • Testosterone
  • Stanozolol
  • Dexamethasone
  • Cycloheximide
  • Danazol