Ischemic Preconditioning Efficacy Following Anabolic Steroid Usage: A Clear Difference Between Sedentary and Exercise-Trained Rat Hearts

Research paper by Zahra Akbari, Mansour Esmailidehaj, Ebrahim Avarand, Mehrdad Shariati, Khalil Pourkhalili

Indexed on: 08 Dec '18Published on: 07 Dec '18Published in: Cardiovascular Toxicology


Previous studies show that anabolic steroids impair innate cardioprotective mechanisms. Here, we investigated the effect of supraphysiological doses of nandrolone on ischemic preconditioning (IPC) as a potent cardioprotective tool against ischemia reperfusion (IR) injury in rat hearts. Male Wistar rats in two experimental settings of sedentary and exercise-trained (60 min/day swimming, 5 days/week, for 8 weeks) were either pretreated with intramuscular injections of arachis oil (Arach, n = 16) as vehicle or nandrolone decanoate (ND, n = 8), 10 mg/kg/week, for 8 weeks. At the end, the hearts were excised and perfused in a Langendorff system. Then, the vehicle-treated hearts subdivided into the IR (30 min of LAD coronary artery occlusion and 120 min reperfusion, n = 8) and IPC (three cycles of 3-min ischemia and 3-min reperfusion before test ischemia, n = 8) groups and nandrolone-treated hearts served as ND + IPC (nandrolone pretreatment before IR and IPC protocols, n = 8) group. Post-ischemic cardiac function and infarct size were assessed. Reperfusion arrhythmias were analyzed using a standard scoring system. In sedentary hearts, ND slightly increased heart-to-body weight ratio and increased baseline cardiac contractile function. In trained hearts, ND markedly increased heart-to-body weight ratio which was also associated with enhanced baseline cardiac function. ND pretreatment enhanced protective effects of IPC in sedentary group; however, abolished these effects in exercise-trained group. The arrhythmia score was not significantly different between nandrolone-treated groups vs. respective preconditioned groups. Our findings show that ND impairs IPC-induced cardioprotection in exercise-trained rat hearts. Cardiac hypertrophy seems to play a crucial role in this response.