Analysis of mutagenic potential of the anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) and l-carnitine by the micronucleus test in polychromatic erythrocytes

INTRODUCTION: Anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) are frequently used by people whose aim to increase muscle mass to obtain a better performance in sports or improve physical appearance. AAS are synthetic derivatives of testosterone, able to promote muscle fibers hypertrophy, increasing intracellular protein synthesis. L-carnitine is a food supplement used to increase energetic production by means of fat acids oxidation. Although there are several works about physiological properties of these drugs, there are few studies about their mutagenic potential. OBJECTIVES: This work evaluated the clastogenicity and genotoxicity of nandrolone decanoate, testosterone decanoate and L-carnitine, in different treatments through the micronucleus test in polychromatic erythrocytes of Wistar rats. METHODS: The animals were submitted to different concentrations and associations of AAS. The positive control received cyclophosphamide 50 mg/kg by intraperitoneal injection and negative control, one ml of saline solution by gavage. The rats were sacrificed after 36 hours of latest application, having the femurs removed and the bone marrow extracted. Material was homogenized and centrifuged. Button cell was pipetted and transferred to slides, which were stained by Giemsa. 1,000 polychromatic erythrocytes were counted per animal, noting the frequency of micronuclei. RESULTS: The Kruskal-Wallis test was performed, with a significance level of 5%, which demonstrated that nandrolone decanoate - three doses of 0,2 mg/kg and 0,6 mg/kg, eight doses of 7,5 mg/kg, L-carnitine - seven doses of 0,4 ml/250 g and 1,5 ml/250 g, testosterone decanoate - 28 doses of 0,075 mg/kg, nandrolone decanoate - eight doses of 7,5 mg/kg associated to L-carnitine and 1 mL and nandrolone decanoate - eight doses of 7,5 mg/kg associated to testosterone decanoate - eight doses of 7,5 mg/kg, showed mutagenic potential. CONCLUSION: The treatments proved to be clastogenic, not being indicated like ergogenic aid.

anabolic agents; dietary supplements; acetylcarnitine; genotoxicity


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