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Neuropeptides. 2009 Apr;43(2):105-11. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2008.12.005. Epub 2009 Feb 7.

Nandrolone decanoate administration dose-dependently affects the density of kappa opioid peptide receptors in the rat brain determined by autoradiography.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, Division of Biological Research on Drug Dependence, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.


The kappa opioid receptor ligand [(3)H]CI-977 was used to autoradiographically determine the density of kappa opioid receptors in the male rat brain following chronic treatment with the anabolic androgenic steroid nandrolone decanoate at two different doses. As compared to controls, significantly lower densities of the kappa opioid receptor were encountered after two weeks of high dose nandrolone decanoate (15 mg/kg) in the nucleus accumbens shell (16%), lateral hypothalamic area (36%), ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (37%), dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus (49%), central amygdaloid nucleus, capsular part (28%), lateral globus pallidus (35%) and in the stria terminalis (24%). Furthermore, an up-regulation of the receptor level was observed in the caudate putamen (18%) and in the dorsal endopiriform nucleus (23%). These alterations in the kappa opioid receptor expression are possibly attributed to a previously observed pronounced impact of nandrolone decanoate on the dynorphinergic system and could also include involvement of the dopaminergic reward system.

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