Anabolic Androgenic Steroids : Effects on Neuropeptide Systems in the Rat Brain
Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) have been used in clinics for decades. The misuse of AAS has previously been attributed merely to sport athletes, taking AAS with intentions to increase muscle mass, enhance physical performance and to improve results in competitions. Today, the misuse of AAS has spread to adolescents and young adults not connected to sports. Alarmingly, many reports are pointing at severe psychiatric adverse effects among AAS abusers, which include mood swings, mania, anxiety, depression and aggression. Numerous examples of severe and often unprovoked violence and brutal crimes have been connected to AAS abuse and there is a strong need for a better understanding of the underlying biochemical events that might account for the adverse behaviors induced by AAS. The general aim of this thesis was to study the effect of chronic AAS administration on neuropeptide circuits in the rat brain associated with the regulation of rewarding effects, memory, anxiety, depression and aggression, using nandrolone decanoate as a prototype AAS.Results demonstrated that daily administration of AAS to rats in doses comparable to those taken by AAS abusers, in certain brain structures significantly affected, a) the levels of the opioid peptides dynorphin B and Met-enkephalin-Arg6Phe7, b) the levels of the tachykinin substance P (SP), c) the density of the SP neurokinin 1 (NK1) receptor, d) the level of the SP metabolite SP1-7 that frequently exerts opposite effects to SP, e) the SP1-7 generating enzyme substance P endopeptidase (SPE) and finally, f) the levels of the neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) often co-localized with SP. The alterations seen in the levels and activities of these neurochemical components are in many aspects compatible with behaviors typified among AAS abusers.
Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation
Keywords:PHARMACY; Biological research on drug dependence; Biological research on drug dependence; Anabolic androgenic steroids; Nandrolone decanoate; Substance P; NK1 receptor; Substance P(1-7); Endopeptidase; Opioids; Calcitonin gene-related peptide; Radioimmunoassay; Autoradiography; Central nervous system; Rats; Biologisk beroendeforskning
Date of Publication:01/01/2005