Characterization of trenbolone acetate and estradiol metabolite excretion profiles in implanted steers

Brett R. Blackwell, Tyson R. Brown, Paul R. Broadway, Michael D. Buser, J. Chance Brooks, Bradley J. Johnson, George P. Cobb, Philip N. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Exogenous growth promoters have been used in US beef cattle production for over 50 yr. The environmental fate and transport of steroid growth promoters suggest potential for endocrine-disrupting effects among ecological receptors; however, the initial excretion of steroid metabolites from cattle administered growth promoters has not been well characterized. To better characterize excretion of trenbolone acetate and estrogen metabolites, steers were assigned to 1 of the following treatment groups: control, given no implant, or treatment, administered a combination implant (200mg trenbolone acetate, 40mg estradiol). Blood, urine, and fecal samples were collected over the course of 112 d following implantation. Samples were extracted and analyzed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry for trenbolone acetate and estrogen metabolites. In both urine and feces, 17α-trenbolone and 17α-estradiol were the predominant metabolites following implantation. Mean concentrations of 17α-trenbolone and 17α-estradiol in feces of implanted steers were 5.9±0.37ng/g and 2.7±0.22ng/g, respectively. A best-fit model is presented to predict 17α-trenbolone and 17α-estradiol excretion from steers receiving implants. The present study provides the first characterization of both trenbolone and estrogen metabolites in excreta from implanted cattle and will help provide estimates of steroid production from feedyards in the United States.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2850-2858
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • Confined animal feeding operation
  • Endocrine disruptor
  • Estrogenic compound
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Steroid metabolism


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