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anabolic steroidsDrugs which promote tissue growth, especially of muscle, by stimulating protein synthesis. Anabolic steroids are synthetic male sex hormones and tend to cause VIRILIZATION. These steroids are sometimes misused by athletes and bodybuilders to gain an unfair advantage. The risks are considerable and include life-threatening varicella-zoster pneumonitis, renal-cell carcinoma, liver damage with jaundice, systemic infection with Candida albicans including ENDOPHTHALMITIS, breast enlargement (gynaecomastia), mood swings and aggressiveness (‘steroid rage’) and induction of psychotic disorders. Women run the additional risks of virilization.
A group of drugs derived from the male sex hormone testosterone, most commonly prescribed to promote growth or to help the body repair tissues weakened by severe illness or aging. Some anabolic steroids are given as appetite stimulants.
anabolic steroidsusually refers to a group of synthetic drugs based on the male sex hormone testosterone secreted by the testes, and having similar anabolic and other androgenic actions to this and other androgens from the adrenal cortex in both sexes. These drugs are misused in sports, especially where enhanced power and strength are beneficial such as weight lifting and cycling. Used in conjunction with a training programme, they lead to an increase in muscle size and power. They may also lessen fatigue and improve tissue repair. Use in children can lead to premature fusion of the epiphyses, stunting skeletal growth. Side effects are common and potentially serious. They include psychological changes (notably aggression), liver damage, cardiovascular (raised blood pressure) and endocrine effects (masculinization in females, testicular atrophy and reduced sperm count in males.) See also adrenal glands, hormones; Table 1.
|Site of production||Name of hormone||Main targets||Involved in regulating:||Secretion controlled by:|
|Hypothalamus||Releasing and inhibiting hormones||Anterior pituitary (via local blood vessels)||Secretion of anterior pituitary hormones||Other brain regions; feedback re regulated hormones and their actions|
|Neurohormones released from posterior pituitary:|
|Oxytocin||Uterus, breasts||Labour and lactation||Afferent information from target organs|
|Antidiuretic hormone (ADH, vasopressin)||Kidneys||Water loss: ECF volume and osmolality||Hypothalamic osmoreceptors|
|Anterior pituitary||(Human) growth hormone (H)GH||Most cells||Growth and metabolism||Hypothalamic releasing and inhibiting hormones via local blood vessels|
|Thyroid-stimulating (TSH)||Thyroid gland||Thyroid secretions|
|Gonadotrophins||Ovary or testis||Germ cell maturation and hormone secretions|
|Adrenocorticotrophic (ACTH)||Adrenal cortex||Cortisol secretion|
|Pineal body||Melatonin||Widespread, including brain, thymus, etc.||Hypothalamus; varying light input from retina|
|Parathyroids||Parathormone||Bone, kidneys, gut||ECF [Ca2+]|
|Medulla||Heart, smooth muscle, glands||Cardiovascular and metabolic adjustments to activity and stress||Sympathetic nervous system|
|Atrial wall||Atrial natriuretic hormone||Kidneys||Blood volume; increases sodium (therefore also water) loss in urine||Stretch of atrial wall by venous pressure|
|Gonads: Testis||Androgens (mainly testosterone)||Genitalia and other tissues||Reproductive function and sex characteristics||Anterior pituitary gonadotrophins|
|Ovary||Uterus, breasts and other tissues||Menstrual cycle, pregnancy, lactation|
|Pancreas||Blood levels, storage and cellular uptake of nutrients, notably glucose, but also proteins and fats||Blood levels of nutrients; autonomic nervous system; other gastrointesinal hormones|
|Stomach||Gastrin||Gastric acid-secreting cells||Gastrointestinal functions: motility, digestive juices and other secretions||Local chemical and mechanical factors in the alimentary tract|
|Small intestine||Several GI functions including bile flow, pancreatic enzyme and exocrine secretions||Ingestion of food, distension of GI tract|
n.pl a group of compounds derived from testosterone or prepared synthetically to promote general growth. Anabolic steroids are used in the treatment of aplastic anemia, anemias associated with renal failure, myeloid metaplasia, and leukemia. Anabolic steroids are subject to abuse to promote muscle mass in athletes.