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Neuroendocrinology. 2001 Apr;73(4):285-92.

Oral testosterone self-administration in male hamsters.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn., USA.


The addiction potential of anabolic steroids remains largely unexplored. Here, we demonstrate voluntary oral testosterone intake in hamsters. Using a 2-bottle choice test, males preferred an aqueous solution of 200 microg/ml testosterone over vehicle. However, the taste of testosterone is not highly preferred. Addition of testosterone at 400 microg/ml increased fluid consumption from the nonpreferred bottle in a 2-bottle choice test, but cholesterol at the same concentration reduced drinking, suggesting that testosterone reward is not common to all sterols. With food-induced drinking, testosterone maintained fluid intake when food was withdrawn. These data demonstrate that oral self-administration of testosterone is reinforcing in hamsters, suggesting the potential for dependence in human users.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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