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Anabolic-androgenic steroids influence on decision-making and the density of dendritic spines in nucleus accumbens
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences. Department of Cell and Neurobiology, University of Southern California.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) are well known as performance enhancing drugs in sports. Use of AAS is growing in the general population and becoming more common among adolescents. These drugs induce behavioral changes such as mood disturbances, impulsive aggression (‘roid rage) and increased risk-taking. How AAS affect cognition needs to be further elucidated. Decision-making circuits in the brain involve input to nucleus accumbens (Acb) that synapse on dendritic spines. AIM: The aim of this study is to determine a) if AAS impair decision-making using a rodent version of the Iowa Gambling Task (rIGT), and b) evaluate if Golgi-Cox staining can be used to impregnate neurons for further analysis. METHODS: Male Long-Evans rats were treated chronically with a high-dose of testosterone (7.5 mg/kg) or vehicle. The rIGT model has 4 levers, which deliver sugar pellets with varying reward magnitude, uncertainty and delay. Two levers are advantageous (maximal pellets); two are disadvantageous. Thus, rIGT resembles naturalistic decision-making. Rats were tested with rIGT for 14 days and were sacrificed to collect brains for Golgi-Cox staining. RESULTS: Based on rIGT, AAS did not impair decision-making in rats. Both testosterone- and vehicle treated rats preferred the disadvantageous uncertain lever and there was no significant difference between the groups. Golgi analysis to measure dendritic spines is ongoing. CONLUSION: In the current study, all rats preferred the infrequent, high payoff lever. These results are not consistent with impaired decision-making in AAS-treated rats.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 21 p.
Keyword [en]
Anabolic androgenic steroids, decision-making, dendritic spines, Iowa Gambling Task, Nucleus accumbens
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-237770OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-237770DiVA: diva2:768836
Subject / course
Pharmaceutical Biosciences
Educational program
Master of Science Programme in Pharmacy
Available from: 2015-01-27 Created: 2014-12-05 Last updated: 2015-01-27Bibliographically approved

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