Morphologic and histologic abnormalities in female and male rats treated with anabolic steroids

Janet A. yu-Yahiro, Roger H. Michael, David V. Nasrallah, Brian Schofield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A two-part study was performed to determine the ef fects of high doses of anabolic steroids on weight, appetite, and organ histology. Initially, 30 white Wistar rats, 15 males and 15 females, were treated weekly with either 0.52 cc of physiologic saline or nandrolone decanoate. After 6 weeks, female treated and control rats had comparable weight gains, but male treated rats were significantly lighter than controls. Rats were sacrificed and organs dissected for histologic prepara tion. Treated male livers had less lipid than control males. The uteri of treated females displayed abnormal vacuolization, stromal edema, and peliosis. In Part 11, 12 male rats, 6 treated and 6 control, were given the drug or saline in a manner identical to that in Part I. Treated rats had lower weights from Weeks 1 through 6 and ate less than controls. Upon sacrifice, treated rats’ kidneys were heavier, and testes and liver were lighter compared to controls. Roentgenographic studies of tibias from Parts I and II showed no significant differences in tibial length or height of growth plate between treated and control groups. In summary, when anabolic steroid use is studied in the rat model, numer ous pathological and anatomical changes occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-689
Number of pages4
JournalThe American Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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