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

Wenqing Gao, Peter J Reiser, Christopher C Coss, Mitch A Phelps, Jeffrey D Kearbey, Duane D Miller, James T Dalton
Endocrinology 2005, 146 (11): 4887-97
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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