The androgenic anabolic steroid nandrolone decanoate prevents osteopenia and inhibits bone turnover in ovariectomized cynomolgus monkeys

Christoper P. Jerome, R. A. Power, I. O. Obasanjo, T. C. Register, M. Guidry, C. S. Carlson, D. S. Weaver

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48 Scopus citations


We examined the effects of nandrolone decanoate (25 mg im every 3 weeks) on bone mass, serum biomarkers, and bone histomorphometric endpoints in 52 female cynomolgus macaques randomized into four treatment groups: (1) sham-ovariectomized (sham); (2) ovariectomized + placebo for 2 years (ovx); (3) ovx + nandrolone decanoate for 2 years (Nan); and (4) ovx + nandrolone decanoate beginning 1 year after ovx (dNan). Serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP), osteocalcin, and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) were assayed every 3 months, and X-ray densitometry of the lumbar spine was done every 6 months. Fluorochrome-labeled iliac biopsies collected at baseline and 1 year, and lumbar vertebrae and midshaft femur collected at 2 years, were evaluated histomorphometrically. Body weight increased over 50% with administration of nandrolone. After 2 years, ovx animals had lower spinal BMC and BMD than all other groups. Ovx animals also had higher bone turnover rates than all other groups, as indicated by higher levels of the serum and urine biomarkers, and by at least twofold higher label-based bone formation rates in the femur diaphysis and in both cancellous and cortical bone of the ilium and vertebral bodies. Nandrolone-treated animals had similar serum estradiol levels as the sham animals, presumably due to conversion of endogenous or exogenous androgens. The effects of nandrolone on bone in this experiment are consistent with estradiol action and may be attributable to the increased serum estradiol. Despite > 50% higher body weight, nandro lone-treated, ovariectomized animals did not have higher bone mass than sham animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-364
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1997

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: The authorst hankBeth Phifer, BarbaraM iller, and Shirley Hutchensfo r technicaal ssistanceD;r . Mark Wilson for estradiol assaysa; ndKaren Klein for editoriaal ssistanceP.y r and D-Pyr standards were kindly provided by Dr. Phil Baer and Dr. Bajin Han of Glaxo (ResearchT rianglePark, NC) and Dr. Nancy Saccho-Gibsoonf Procter & Gamble (CincinnatiO, H). This study was supportedin part by a grant from the NationalI nstituteo f Aging (R01-AG09827)N,a tionalI nstitutes of Health, BethesdaM, D.

Copyright 2007 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Bone histomorphometry
  • Bone mass
  • Cynomolgus macaques
  • Nandrolone decanoate
  • Postmenopausal osteoporosis
  • Serum bone biomarkers


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