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Nandrolone decanoate treatment induces changes in contractile responses of rat untrained fast-twitch skeletal muscle

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This investigation was designed to examine whether short-term administration of anabolic–androgenic steroids (AAS) (nandrolone decanoate) could produce changes in contractile responses of untrained rat fast- (edl) and slow- (soleus) twitch skeletal muscle. Twenty male rats were divided into two groups, one group received weekly (for 6 weeks) an intramuscular injection of AAS, nandrolone decanoate (15 mg kg–1) and the second group received weekly the similar doses of vehicle (sterile peanut oil). In edl intact isolated small bundles (two to four cells), it was found that nandrolone decanoate treatment increases the K+ contracture tension (146 mM) relative to maximum tension by 56%, whereas no change was observed in the time to peak tension and in the time constant of relaxation. By contrast, in treated soleus muscle, compared with control, no significant modification was found in the K+ contracture characteristics. The change in edl contractile responses was associated with a shift to more negative potential of the voltage-dependence activation and the steady-state inactivation curves which also shifted leftward in treated soleus fibres. Furthermore, in edl skinned Triton X-100 fibres, the Ca2+ sensitivity of contractile proteins (pCa50) was increased, while electrophoresis analysis indicates no significant effect of nandrolone decanoate treatment on myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoforms. The present results show that nandrolone decanoate treatment produces more pronounced changes in untrained fast muscle function rather than soleus by acting at different levels of the excitation–contraction coupling mechanism without changes in the MHC isoforms and that contractile responses became similar to those found in soleus muscle.

Keywords: K+ contracture; excitation–contraction coupling; intact and skinned fibres; skeletal muscles; twitch

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-201X.2002.00988.x

Affiliations: 1: Laboratoire de Physiologie Générale, CNRS UMR 6018, Faculté des Sciences et des Techniques, Université de Nantes, Nantes, France, 2: Unité de Bioénergétique, Centre de la Recherche et du service de la Santé des Armées, La Tronche, France

Publication date: July 1, 2002

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