Abstract Anabolic substances have been increasingly used by bodybuilders and athletes with the goal of improving performance and aesthetics. However, this practice has caused some concern to physicians and researchers because of unknowledge of consequences that the indiscriminate and illicit use of these substances can cause. Thus, this study analyzed the effects of two commercially available anabolic steroids (AS), Winstrol Depot® (Stanozolol) and Deposteron® (Testosterone Cypionate), in the neuronal density of limbic, motor and sensory regions on the cerebral cortex and in CA1, CA2, CA3 regions of the hippocampus. A total of 60 Swiss mice were used (30 males and 30 females), separated into three groups: control and two experimental groups, which received the AAS. From each brain, homotypic and semi-serial samples were taken in frontal sections from areas established for the study. The results showed that females treated with testosterone cypionate presented a reduction in all regions tested and the ones treated with Stanozolol showed a decrease in some hippocampal areas. Regarding male animals, stanozolol led to a decrease in neuron number in one hippocampal region. These data allow us to conclude that supra-physiological doses of steroids used in this study, can cause considerable damage to nervous tissue with ultrastructural and consequently behavioral impairment. These changes could interfere with the loss of physical yield and performance of athletes and non-athletes and may cause irreparable damage to individuals making irresponsible use of anabolic steroids.