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Criteria to distinguish between natural situations and illegal use of boldenone, boldenone esters and boldione in cattle. 1. Metabolite profiles of boldenone, boldenone esters and boldione in cattle urine

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Author: Le Bizec, B. · Courant, F. · Gaudin, I. · Bichon, E. · Destrez, B. · Schilt, R. · Draisci, R. · Monteau, F. · André, F.
Institution: TNO Kwaliteit van Leven
Source:Steroids, 13-14, 71, 1078-1087
Identifier: 239718
Keywords: Biology · Analytical research · Anabolic · Boldenone · Endogenous · 17 Beta boldenone · Biological marker · Boldione · Drug metabolite · Unclassified drug · Animal experiments · Comparative study · Controlled study · Drug abuse · Drug metabolism · Drug urine level · Androstadienes · Cattle · Esters · Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry · Testosterone · Animalia · Bos taurus


Boldenone is an androgenic steroid that improves the growth and food conversion in food producing animals. In most countries worldwide, this anabolic steroid is forbidden for meat production. Until recently, the control of its illegal use was based either on 17β-boldenone or 17α-boldenone (its main metabolite in cattle) identification in edible tissues, hair, faeces or urine. Recent observations and data tend to demonstrate the natural occurrence (but not ubiquitous) in cattle of these steroids, making the analytical strategy of the control more complicated. We investigated the metabolism of boldenone in cattle after intramuscular and oral treatment of boldenone, boldenone esters and boldione. The central objective was to elucidate the structures of the main metabolites (phase I and phase II) in urine, with main objective to be further in position to compare boldenone urinary profiles of treated and non-treated animals. Nine metabolites have been identified, only four were present whatever the treatment and the administered boldenone source. Nevertheless, all of them have been detected at least once in non-treated animals which did not permit us to use them as biomarkers of an illegal treatment. At last, but not at least, all metabolites were found mainly glucuro-conjugated, and rarely sulfo-conjugated, with the only exception of 17β-boldenone. Current investigations are showing the absence of 17β-boldenone sulfoconjugate in non-treated animals; that would permit to distinguish non-treated from treated animals with boldione, boldenone and boldenone esters.