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Eur J Pharmacol. 2003 Mar 28;465(1-2):69-81.

Effects of nandrolone on acute morphine responses, tolerance and dependence in mice.

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Laboratori de Neurofarmacologia, Facultat de Ciénces de la Salut i de la Vida, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, C/Doctor Aiguader 80, 08003 Barcelona, Spain.


Anabolic-androgenic steroid exposure has been proposed to present a risk factor for the misuse of other drugs of abuse. We now examined whether the exposure to the anabolic-androgenic steroid, nandrolone, would affect the acute morphine responses, tolerance and dependence in rodents. For this purpose, mice received nandrolone using pre-exposure (for 14 days before morphine experiments) or co-administration (1 h before each morphine injection) procedures. Nandrolone treatments increased the acute hypothermic effects of morphine without modifying its acute antinociceptive and locomotor effects. Nandrolone also attenuated the development of tolerance to morphine antinociception in the hot plate test, but did not affect tolerance to its hypothermic effects, nor the sensitisation to morphine locomotor responses. After nandrolone pre-exposure, we observed an attenuation of morphine-induced place preference and an increase in the somatic manifestations of naloxone-precipitated morphine withdrawal. These results indicate that anabolic-androgenic steroid consumption may induce adaptations in neurobiological systems implicated in the development of morphine dependence.

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