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Eurasian J Med. 2013 Oct;45(3):155-62. doi: 10.5152/eajm.2013.33.

Melatonin reduces oxidative stress and cardiovascular changes induced by stanozolol in rats exposed to swimming exercise.

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Department of Structural and Functional Biology, Institute of Biology, State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.


in English, Turkish


Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) are nominated for clinical use to promote protein synthesis in many therapeutic conditions. However, the indiscriminate use of AAS is related to hazardous cardiac disturbances and oxidative stress. We designed a study to investigate whether prolonged treatment with high doses of stanozolol modifies the activities of some antioxidant enzymes in the heart in sedentary and trained rats and whether this treatment causes alterations of cardiovascular parameters. In addition, the effectiveness of melatonin as an antioxidant and as a modulator of the cardiovascular side effects of stanozolol (STA) treatment was analyzed.


Thirty male Wistar rats were divided into the following six groups: sedentary (S), stanozolol sedentary (SS), stanozolol-melatonin sedentary (SMS), trained (T), stanozolol trained (ST) and stanozolol-melatonin trained (SMT). The stanozolol-treatment rats received 5 by subcutaneous injection before each exercise session (5 d.wk(-1), i.e., 25, while control groups received only saline solution injection. The melatonin-treatment groups received intraperitoneal injections of melatonin (10, 5 d.wk(-1) for 6 wk. Electrocardiography, blood pressure and antioxidant enzyme activity measurements were performed at the end of the experimental period for cardiac function and molecular assessment.


This is the first time that the in vivo effects of melatonin treatment on stanozolol-induced cardiovascular side effects have been studied. Stanozolol induced bradycardia and significantly increased cardiac superoxide dismutase and catalase activities. Trained stanozolol-treated rats experienced an increase in blood pressure and relative heart weight, and they developed left cardiac axis deviation. Although melatonin did not prevent cardiac hypertrophy in exercised stanozolol-treated animals, it maintained blood pressure and cardiac catalase activity, and it prevented stanozolol-induced cardiac electrical axis deviation.


In conclusion, under our experimental conditions, chronic stanozolol administration induced mild cardiovascular side effects that were partly attenuated by melatonin treatment. However, these results showed that the combination of melatonin and exercise could minimize the stanozolol side effects in the cardiovascular system.


Stanozolol; anabolic effects; electrocardiogram; exercise; melatonin; oxidative stress

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