Transformation kinetics of trenbolone acetate metabolites and estrogens in urine and feces of implanted steers

Brett R. Blackwell, Bradley J. Johnson, Michael D. Buser, George P. Cobb, Philip N. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Biotransformation of trenbolone acetate metabolites and estrogens derived from animal feeding operations in soils, waste storage systems, and in land applied manure has been well characterized. Yet recent data demonstrate potential for steroid transport into the environment directly from feedyard pens via runoff or airborne particulate matter. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine steroid transformation rates in beef cattle excreta. Feces and urine were collected from steers recently treated with steroidal implants. Excreta were stored and periodically extracted over 112. d then analyzed for trenbolone acetate metabolites and estrogens by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. Conjugated steroids were present primarily in urine, and conjugates quickly degraded to free steroid with a half-life of 0.6-1.0. d. The primary trenbolone acetate metabolite, 17α-trenbolone, had a half-life of 5.1-9.5. d. Likewise, 17α-estradiol was the predominant estrogen, with a half-life of 8.6-53. d. Secondary trenbolone metabolites formed from 17α-trenbolone biotransformation were observed at low concentrations less than 10% initial 17α-trenbolone concentrations. Estrone was the primary metabolite of 17α-estradiol and concentrations of estrone exceeded initial 17α-estradiol concentration in all sample types. These results suggest manure-borne steroids are more stable in excreta than in soil microcosms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16430
Pages (from-to)901-907
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015


  • Aerobic degradation
  • Biotransformation
  • Estrogens
  • Manure-borne steroids
  • Trenbolone


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