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Peptides. 2006 Jan;27(1):114-21. Epub 2005 Aug 15.

Administration of the anabolic androgenic steroid nandrolone decanoate affects substance P endopeptidase-like activity in the rat brain.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, Division of Biological Research on Drug Dependence, Uppsala University, BMC, Box 591, 751 24 Uppsala, Sweden.


The effect of the anabolic androgenic steroid, nandrolone decanoate, on substance P endopeptidase-like activity was examined in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. Nandrolone decanoate (15 mg/kg day) or oil vehicle (sterile arachidis oleum) were administered by intramuscular injections during 14 days. Substance P endopeptidase, a predominantly cytosolic enzyme, generates the bioactive N-terminal fragment substance P(1-7) from the enzyme substrate substance P. Nandrolone decanoate significantly reduced the substance P endopeptidase-like activity compared to control animals in hypothalamus (43% reduction), caudate putamen (44%), substantia nigra (32%) and the ventral tegmental area (27%). It was previously reported that both hypothalamus and caudate putamen contained significantly higher levels of substance P after nandrolone administration. The higher concentration of substance P in these regions could to an extent be attributed to the reduction in substance P endopeptidase-like activity. This result elucidates the important role of peptidase activity in the regulation of the substance P transmitter system. The present study provides additional support for the hypothesis that alterations in the substance P system in certain brain areas may contribute to some of the personality changes reported in connection with AAS abuse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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