The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

Influence of anabolic steroid treatment associated to physical exercise in the ultrasonic vocalization of rats.

PMID 21110590


Unlike humans, who communicate in frequency bands between 250 Hz and 6 kHz, rats can communicate in frequencies above 18 kHz. Their vocalization types depend on the context and are normally associated to subjective or emotional states. It was reported significant vocal changes due to administration of replacement testosterone in a trained tenor singer with hypogonadism. Speech-Language Pathology clinical practices are being sought by singers who sporadically use anabolic steroids associated with physical exercise. They report difficulties in reaching and keeping high notes, "breakage" in the passage of musical notes and post singing vocal fatigue. Those abnormalities could be raised by the association of anabolic steroids and physical exercise. Thus, in order to verify if this association could promote vocal changes, maximum, minimum and fundamental frequencies and call duration in rats treated with anabolic steroids and physically trained (10 weeks duration) were evaluated. The vocalizations were obtained by handling the animals. At the end of that period, rats treated and trained showed significant decrease in call duration, but not in other parameters. The decrease in call duration could be associated to functional alterations in the vocal folds of treated and trained animals due to a synergism between anabolic steroids and physical training.