This is the second part of a two part series, click here to read more about nandrolone, trenbolone, testosterone and all the androgens on the list of prohibited substances of the World Anti Doping Agency.If this method had been available back in the day, when Patrick Arnold developed THG (tetrahydrogestrinone aka "The Clear") for BALCO, the detectives from the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) would probably have been able to identify Marion Jones and other athletes who used this highly performance-enhancing drug, even before baseball star Berry Bonds blew the whistle in 2001.
|Figure 1: Relative potency at the androgen (compared to testosterone), progesterone (compared to progesterone) and estrogen alpha and beta receptors (compared to estrogen) of "The Clear" (THG), trenbolone and nandrolone|
(calculated based on data from Houtman. 2008)
|Figure 2: Relative potency (new reference: |
progesterone!) of steroids not on the
WADA list at the progesterone receptor
(data calculated base on Houtman. 2008)
|Figure 2: Relative potency at of steroids|
not on the WADA list at the androgen
receptor; note that I re-calculated the
values relative to testosterone as a new
reference, this means that you have to
divide the values by 4.68 to get DHT as
a reference, as in Part 1, fig. 2 (data
calculated base on Houtman. 2008)
- 11b-ethynyl-NET - 880%
- delta-15-NET - 290%
- 11b-ethenyl-NET - 262%
- 6a-methyl-NET - 253%
- 11b-I37ethyl-NET - 139%
The 7-alpha-methylated derivate of the progestin nethisterone, 7a-methyl-NET, however, has an androgen/progesterone activity ratio of 427/8. Now, although the respective values for trenbolone and nandrolone are only 442/35 and 327/7 this does not necessarily go to tell you that it would make a powerful mass builder, especially in view of the results of previous studies using CHO-AR reporter gene assays, according to which nandrolone (I do not have data on trenbolone, here) has a 1.6x higher androgen receptor binding affinity than the aforementioned nethisterone derivate.
|Image 2: The dissection of the |
prostate (image by Gray. 2005) is
an unsavory, yet obligatory part
of the Hershberger assay, an in-
vivo method to evaluate the
androgenic activity of steroids
that was developed by
T.V. Hershberger in the 1960s.
|Figure 3: Relative potency of steroid metabolits at the androgen receptor, note that I re-calculated the values relative to testosterone as a new reference, this means that you have to divide the values by 4.68 to get DHT as a reference, as in Part 1, fig. 2 (data calculated base on Houtman. 2008)|
If I may remind you of the the high transcriptional activity of nandrolone and trenbolone, I've discussed in the first part of this article, which corresponds well with the progesterone related side-effects many athletes complain about, the relatively high activity of 4-AD at the estrogen receptor (25x higher than testosterone) in the CALUX assay is yet another sign for the real-world relevance of the luciferase assay data (cf. red box "Different tests, different results"). After all, androst-4-ene-3b,17b-diol, which happens to be one of the pro-hormones that has lately re-appeared on the "supplement" market, is well-known to be one of the "wetter" compounds.
|Figure 4: Relative potency of several natural and synthetic steroids at the corticosteroid receptor with cortisol as a reference (data calculated based on Houtman. 2008)|
With the issue of literal "side-effects", i.e. effects not related to direct transcriptional activity at the receptor sites, I want to conclude this two part series on the immediate effects of a broad range of androgens on androgen, progesterone, estrogen and corticosteroid receptors by reminding you of the fact that despite an ever-increasing accuracy and the constant development of even more sophisticated analytical methods, there still is (and probably never will be) a machine, where you insert a certain molecule, press a few buttons and get a print out that says: "Person A; age: 25, sex: male; training: 5x a week; nutrition: [...] will gain Xlbs of lean mass and shed Ylbs of fat on a Z-week cycle of XYZmg of compound ALPHA".