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Endocrinology. 2005 Nov;146(11):4887-97. Epub 2005 Aug 11.

Selective androgen receptor modulator treatment improves muscle strength and body composition and prevents bone loss in orchidectomized rats.

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Division of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy and Department of Oral Biology, The Ohio State University, 500 West 12th Avenue, L. M. Parks Hall, Room 242, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.


The partial agonist activity of a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) in the prostate was demonstrated in orchidectomized rats. In the current study, we characterized the full agonist activity of S-3-(4-acetylamino-phenoxy)-2-hydroxy-2-methyl-N-(4-nitro-3-trifluoromethyl-phenyl)-propionamide (a structurally related SARM referred to in other publications and hereafter as S-4) in skeletal muscle, bone, and pituitary of castrated male rats. Twelve weeks after castration, animals were treated with S-4 (3 or 10 mg/kg), dihydrotestosterone (DHT) (3 mg/kg), or vehicle for 8 wk. S-4 (3 and 10 mg/kg) restored soleus muscle mass and strength and levator ani muscle mass to that seen in intact animals. Similar changes were also observed in DHT-treated (3 mg/kg) animals. Compared with the anabolic effects observed in muscle, DHT (3 mg/kg) stimulated prostate and seminal vesicle weights more than 2-fold greater than that observed in intact controls, whereas S-4 (3 mg/kg) returned these androgenic organs to only 16 and 17%, respectively, of the control levels. S-4 (3 and 10 mg/kg) and DHT (3 mg/kg) restored castration-induced loss in lean body mass. Furthermore, S-4 treatment caused a significantly larger increase in total body bone mineral density than DHT. S-4 (3 and 10 mg/kg) also demonstrated agonist activity in the pituitary and significantly decreased plasma LH and FSH levels in castrated animals in a dose-dependent manner. In summary, the strong anabolic effects of S-4 in skeletal muscle, bone, and pituitary were achieved with minimal pharmacologic effect in the prostate. The tissue-selective pharmacologic activity of SARMs provides obvious advantages over steroidal androgen therapy and demonstrates the promising therapeutic utility that this new class of drugs may hold.

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