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

  • Zahra Akbari
  • Mansour Esmailidehaj
  • Ebrahim Avarand
  • Mehrdad Shariati
  • Khalil PourkhaliliEmail author


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.


Ischemic preconditioning Nandrolone Hypertrophy Cardioprotection 



The authors appreciate the Vice Chancellor for Research and Technology, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences for financial support.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physiology, Faculty of MedicineBushehr University of Medical SciencesBushehrIran
  2. 2.Department of Physiology, Faculty of MedicineShahid Sadoughi University of Medical SciencesYazdIran
  3. 3.Department of BiologyIslamic Azad UniversityKazerunIran

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