Growth Hormone and Anabolic Androgenic Steroids Effects on Neurochemistry and Cognition

Detta är en avhandling från Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Sammanfattning: Growth hormone (GH) stimulates growth and metabolism but also displays profound effects on the central nervous system (CNS). GH affects neurogenesis and neuroprotection, and has been shown to counteract drug-induced apoptosis in the brain. Anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS), mainly abused for their anabolic and performance-enhancing properties, can cause several adverse effects, such as cardiovascular complications, sterility, depression, and aggression. GH and AAS are both believed to interact with several signaling systems in the CNS. The aim of this thesis was to further investigate the impact of GH and AAS on neurochemistry and cognitive functions. Recombinant human GH (rhGH) and the steroid nandrolone decanoate (ND) were administered, separately and in combination with each other, to male rats.The results demonstrated that administration of GH improved spatial memory, assessed in a water maze test. Furthermore, GH induced alterations of the GABAB receptor mRNA expression, density, and functionality in the brain, for example in regions associated with cognition. GH also altered the mu opioid peptide (MOP) receptor, but not the delta opioid peptide (DOP) receptor functionality in the brain. Thus, some of the GH effects on cognition may involve effects on the GABAB receptors and MOP receptors. ND, on the contrary, seemed to induce impairments of memory and also altered the GABAB receptor mRNA expression in the brain. Furthermore, ND lowered the IGF-1 plasma concentrations and attenuated the IGF-1, IGF-2, and GHR mRNA expression in the pituitary. In addition, significant effects of GH and ND were found on plasma steroid concentrations, organ weight, as well as body weight.In conclusion, this thesis contributes with further knowledge on the cognitive and neurochemical consequences of GH and ND use. The findings regarding ND are worrying considering the common use of AAS among adolescents. GH improves memory functions and affects signaling systems in the brain associated with cognition, hence the hypothesis that GH can reverse drug-induced impairments is further strengthened.