Anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) are substances synthesized from
testosterone or one of their derivatives, which have anabolic or androgenic
effects depending on the target tissue (Simao et al., 2015). Anabolic
androgenic steroids are clinically used for the treatment of chronic diseases
associated with the catabolic state of the patient as in conditions of AIDS,
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, renal or hepatic failure, cancer and in
cases of burns and postsurgical recovery (Karbalay-Doust & Noorafshan
2006; Kicman, 2008). They are also used as androgen replacement therapy
after menopause (Arlt, 2006).

    Because of anabolic
effects of these steroids, they became very popular among professional and
recreational athletes, even though they were banned in many organized sports (Nieschlag & Vorona, 2015; Piacentino
et al., 2015). These hormonal
drugs are most frequently used among weightlifters, bodybuilders and swimmers to
improve their physical performance, strength and muscle mass.  However, these individuals may take doses up
to 100 times higher than the therapeutic range, which leads to severe adverse
effects on many organs in different body systems (Sretenovic et al., 2016). The
abuse of these drugs is not only confined to bodybuilders or athletes, but also
among members of general populations especially adolescents (Matrisciano et
al., 2010).

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    Administration of AAS is
often associated with various dose-related side effects, the most common of
which are, masculinization in women and children, hypertension,
atherosclerosis, thrombosis, jaundice, liver cancer and tendon injury, as well
as psychiatric and behavioral disorders in both sexes (Maravelias et al.,
2005). Infertility and gynecomastia in men as well as liver problems,
impotence and hypertrophy of the clitoris in women were also detected (Bahrke & Yesalis, 2004).

    Among a large number of
flourishing AAS drugs, the 19-nor-testosterone derivative, nandrolone decanoate
(ND) which is one of the most commonly abused AAS compound all over the world (Eklof
 et al., 2003). Thus, ND is the drug
used in the experimental animal studies upon which this thesis is based. Thus,
this work was designed to study the histological and immunohistochemical
changes occurring in the rat liver due to nandrolone decanoate administration.

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