Stacking anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) during puberty in rats: a neuroendocrine and behavioral assessment

Daniel W Wesson, Marilyn Y McGinnis
Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior 2006, 83 (3): 410-9
Anabolic androgenic steroid (AAS) abuse is increasing in teenagers. We examined the effects of stacked AAS in adolescent male rats. Stacking, in which multiple AAS are taken simultaneously, is commonly employed by humans. Beginning at puberty gonadally intact male rats received testosterone, nandrolone, or stanozolol. Additional groups received stacked AAS: testosterone + stanozolol, nandrolone + stanozolol, or nandrolone + testosterone. Injections continued during tests for sexual behavior, vocalizations, scent marking, partner preference, aggression and fertility. Body and reproductive tissue weights were taken. Sexual and aggressive behaviors were increased by testosterone yet inhibited by stanozolol; nandrolone had no effect. Stacking testosterone with stanozolol prevented the inhibitory effects of stanozolol. Body weight was decreased by testosterone and all stacked AAS. Cell nuclear androgen receptor binding in brain was significantly increased in nandrolone males and decreased in stanozolol males; testosterone males were slightly higher than controls. Androgen receptors in stacked groups were intermediate between individual AAS suggesting that stanozolol competed with other AAS for androgen receptors despite its low affinity. The results indicate that stacking AAS influences the effects of individual AAS on behavioral and endocrine measures, and levels of androgen receptor occupation are not directly correlated with AAS effects on behavior.

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