Serca2a and Na+/Ca2 + exchanger are involved in left ventricular function following cardiac remodelling of female rats treated with anabolic androgenic steroid

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Anabolic-androgenic steroids are misused, including by women, but little is known about the cardiovascular effects of these drugs on women. Aim: To evaluated the effects of nandrolone decanoate (ND) and resistive physical exercise on cardiac contractility in young female rats. Main methods: Female Wistar rats were separated into 4 groups: C (untrained animals); E (animals were submitted to resistance exercise by jumping in water 5 times per week); ND (animals were treated with ND, 20 mg/kg/week for 4 weeks); and NDE (trained and treated). The haemodynamic parameters (+ dP/dtmax, − dP/dtmin and Tau) were assessed in the left ventricle. The heart was collected for histological analyses and collagen deposition. The gastrocnemius muscle was weighed, and hypertrophy was assessed by the ratio of their weights to gastrocnemius/tibia length. The expression of calcium handling proteins was measured by western blot analysis. Results: ND treatment and physical exercise increased cardiac contractility and relaxation. In addition, ND promoted increases in phospholamban phosphorylated (p-PLB) and isoforms of sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase 2 (SERCA2a) expression, while resistance exercise increased the phosphorylation of PLB and expression of Na+/Ca2 + exchangers (NCX). Cardiac hypertrophy and collagen deposition were observed after ND treatment. Conclusion: Regulatory components of cytosolic calcium, such as SERCA2a and p-PLB, play important roles in modulating the contractility and relaxation effects of ND in females.Graphical abstractHighlightsND and resistive exercise enhanced the cardiac function and increased expression of cytosolic calcium regulatory components.

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