Clinical chemistry

4-Chlorotestosterone acetate metabolites in cattle after intramuscular and oral administrations.

PMID 9590370


The use of 4-chlorotestosterone acetate by farmers for cattle fattening was recently demonstrated although the use of this anabolic steroid is strictly forbidden in the European Union. We investigated the metabolism of 4-chlorotestosterone acetate in the bovine species after intramuscular and oral administration. Nineteen metabolites were detected in urine after intramuscular injection, and eight metabolites were identified. For this purpose, preparative HPLC, mass spectrometry with different ionization modes (electronic impact and chemical ionization), and different acquisition techniques were used (high resolution, selected ion monitoring, and scan measurement). Metabolite stereoisomerism was determined on the basis of retention time and organic synthesis. 4-Chloroepitestosterone (M2), 4-chloroandrost-4-en-3alpha-ol-17-one (M3), and 4-chloroandrost-4-ene-3,17-dione (M4) were identified as the main urinary markers of intramuscular administration. On the other hand, 4-chloroandrost-4-ene-3alpha,17beta-diol (M7), 4-chloroandrostan-3beta-ol-17-one (M5), and M2 were the primary indicators of an oral administration. In addition, we have shown that 95% of the metabolites were sulfo-conjugated, except for M3, which was partially conjugated to glucuronic acid. Finally, the main metabolites (M2, M3, and M4) were easily identified for 1.5 months after intramuscular administration.