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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EPIDEMIOLOGY AND CLINICAL MEDICINE 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2020 July;60(7):1040-8

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.10443-2

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Potential effects of long-term abuse of anabolic androgen steroids on human skeletal muscle

Ji-Guo YU 1, Andreas ISAKSSON 1, Anton ROVA 1, Yelverton TEGNER 2, Anders ERIKSSON 2, Christer MALM 1

1 Section of Sports Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden; 2 Department of Health Sciences, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden



BACKGROUND: We have previously evaluated muscle functions and morphology in power athletes of long term (5 to15 years) abuse of anabolic androgen steroids (AAS; Doped) and in clean power athletes (Clean), and observed significant improvements in both muscle morphology and muscle functions in Doped. To our knowledge, the effects of long term AAS abuse on human muscle protein profile have never been studied.
METHODS: The study examined further the muscle biopsies using a two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis (2D DIGE) for proteomic screening and protein expression. Cellular localization/distribution of specific proteins identified by proteomic analysis was examined using immunohistochemistry (IHC).
RESULTS: Different protein profiles were observed between Doped and Clean, and a valid orthogonal projection of latent structure discriminant analysis model was built (N.=16, x=5, R2=0.88/Q2=0.84, P=0.0005), which separated Doped from Clean. Liquid chromatography followed by tandem spectrometry identified 14 protein spots (representing nine different proteins) of significant difference in relative quantity (P<0.05), of which nine spots were down-regulated in Doped compared with Clean. IHC revealed no significant alteration in cellular localization in phosphoglucomutase-1 and heat shock protein beta-1, but indeed in two reference proteins desmin and F-actin in Doped.
CONCLUSIONS: Long term abuse of AAS in combination with training is potentially associated with alterations in skeletal muscle protein profile and protein expression, and structural proteins rather than non-structural proteins are preferentially affected in cellular localization/distribution.


KEY WORDS: Doping in sports; Testosterone congeners; Skeletal muscle; Proteomics; Gene expression

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