Anabolic androgenic steroids and central monoaminergic systems Supratherapeutic doses of nandrolone decanoate affect dopamine and serotonin
Sammanfattning: Supratherapeutic doses of anabolic androgenic steroids (AASs) are administered, not only as performance-enhancing drugs in the world of sports, but also in order to modify behaviour. AAS abusers are at risk of developing serious physical and psychological side effects such as dependence and aggressive behaviour. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the impact of supratherapeutic doses of nandrolone decanoate after subchronic administration on dopamine and serotonin pathways involved in drug dependence and aggression, in the male rat brain.Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats received intramuscular injections of nandrolone decanoate (3 or 15 mg/kg) or vehicle once daily for 14 days. Nandrolone decanoate pre-exposure abolished the effect of amphetamine on the 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) tissue level in the hypothalamus and on the DOPAC/dopamine ratio in the hypothalamus and the hippocampus. A significant decrease of the basal extracellular DOPAC and homovanillic acid (HVA) levels could be detected in the nucleus accumbens, which remained low during the first hour following the amphetamine challenge. Nandrolone decanoate significantly reduced the activity of both monoamine oxidase A and B (MAO-A and -B) in the caudate putamen and amygdala. The gene transcript levels of MAO-B, and the dopamine D1 and D4 receptors were altered in limbic regions. No changes in transcriptional levels could be detected among the serotonin receptor genes examined. However, the density of the serotonin transporter protein was elevated in a range of aggression-related brain regions.Taken together, subchronic administration of nandrolone decanoate causes dopaminergic and serotonergic dysregulations in distinct brain regions. These areas of the brain are involved in the development of drug dependence and expression of impulsive and aggressive behaviours. These results may contribute to explain some of the behavioural changes often reported in AAS abusers, such as polydrug use and impaired impulse control.
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