Long-term treatment with Nandrolone Decanoate impairs mesenteric vascular relaxation in both sedentary and exercised female rats

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Abstract

Nandrolone Decanoate (ND) is an Anabolic Androgenic Steroid (AAS) that under abusive regimen can lead to multiple physiological adverse effects. Studies of AAS-mediated cardiovascular (CV) alterations were mostly taken from male subjects, even though women are also susceptible to the effects of AAS and gender-specific differences in susceptibility to vascular diseases exist. Here we investigate ND-induced vascular reactivity alterations in both sedentary and exercised female rats and whether these alterations depend on endothelium-derived factors. We show that chronic exposure of female Wistar rats to ND (20 mg/Kg/week for 4 weeks) impaired the vascular mesenteric bed (MVB) reactivity to vasodilator (acetylcholine) agonist. The endothelium-dependent Nitric Oxide (NO) component was reduced in ND-treated rats, whereas neither the endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF) component nor prostanoids were altered in the MVBs. Endothelial dysfunction observed in ND-treated rats was associated with decreased eNOS (Ser1177) and Akt (Ser473) phosphorylation sites and upregulation of iNOS and NADPH oxidase expression. Exercise training by weight lifting in water did not improve the vascular alterations induced by ND treatment. ND treatment also significantly reduced the serum levels of estradiol in females, overriding its CV protective effect. These results help uncover the role of ND modulating endothelial function in the setting of CV disease caused by the abuse of AAS in females. If this translates to humans, young women abusing AAS can potentially lose the cardio protective effect rendered by estrogen and be more susceptible to CV alterations.

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