Twenty-five Border Leicester ♂ × Blackface ♀ wether lambs aged about 4 months and weighing on average 28·5 kg were allocated to be treated with the naturally occurring steroid testosterone or trenbolone acetate or nandrolone phenylpropionate which are steroids synthetically produced. Treatment groups were as follows: untreated controls (C); 50 mg testosterone (T); 50 mg trenbolone acetate (TA); 50 mg testosterone + 50 mg trenbolone acetate (TTA) or 50 mg nandrolone phenylpropionate (N). Implants were given at 100 and again at 63 days before slaughter. The lambs were offered to appetite a good quality diet containing, per kg dry matter, an estimated 11·0 MJ metabolizable energy and 185 g crude protein. Comparisons were made for the main effects of T and TA and also interactions between T and TA. Effects due to N were assessed statistically against untreated controls. Treatment with T, on average, increased live-weight gain (LWG), empty body weight (EBW) and reduced backfat thickness and the weight (g/kg EBW) of perirenal and retroperitoneal fat. Main effects due to TA were increases in killing-out ratio and depth of the gigot joint and reductions in backfat thickness. Treatment with N increased the empty body weight and (g/kg) carcass ash. Non-significant (P > 0·05) trends were suggested for increases in carcass crude protein due to T and TA treatments. T and TA but not N treatments exhibited marked androgenic activity in increasing the weight (mg/kg EBW) of the accessary vesicular gland. TA and N, but not T, reduced the weight (g/kg EBW) of the thymus gland.
The maximum binding capacity of post-morte m skeletal muscle (m. gluteus) for (3H)-dexamethasone was reduced by TA but increased by T and N. These results suggest differences in the binding capacity of corticosteroid receptors which may be related to differences in the effects of T and TA on protein metabolism in skeletal muscle.