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Effects of long term supplementation of anabolic androgen steroids on human skeletal muscle
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Sports Medicine.
Department of Health Sciences, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå.
Department of Health Sciences, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB), Anatomy.
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2014 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, no 9, e105330- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The effects of long-term (over several years) anabolic androgen steroids (AAS) administration on human skeletal muscle are still unclear. In this study, seventeen strength training athletes were recruited and individually interviewed regarding self-administration of banned substances. Ten subjects admitted having taken AAS or AAS derivatives for the past 5 to 15 years (Doped) and the dosage and type of banned substances were recorded. The remaining seven subjects testified to having never used any banned substances (Clean). For all subjects, maximal muscle strength and body composition were tested, and biopsies from the vastus lateralis muscle were obtained. Using histochemistry and immunohistochemistry (IHC), muscle biopsies were evaluated for morphology including fiber type composition, fiber size, capillary variables and myonuclei. Compared with the Clean athletes, the Doped athletes had significantly higher lean leg mass, capillary per fibre and myonuclei per fiber. In contrast, the Doped athletes had significantly lower absolute value in maximal squat force and relative values in maximal squat force (relative to lean body mass, to lean leg mass and to muscle fiber area). Using multivariate statistics, an orthogonal projection of latent structure discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) model was established, in which the maximal squat force relative to muscle mass and the maximal squat force relative to fiber area, together with capillary density and nuclei density were the most important variables for separating Doped from the Clean athletes (regression  =  0.93 and prediction  =  0.92, p<0.0001). In Doped athletes, AAS dose-dependent increases were observed in lean body mass, muscle fiber area, capillary density and myonuclei density. In conclusion, long term AAS supplementation led to increases in lean leg mass, muscle fiber size and a parallel improvement in muscle strength, and all were dose-dependent. Administration of AAS may induce sustained morphological changes in human skeletal muscle, leading to physical performance enhancement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 9, no 9, e105330- p.
Keyword [en]
AAS, supplementation, human, skeletal muscle
National Category
Other Basic Medicine Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-93191DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0105330PubMedID: 25207812OAI: diva2:746277
Available from: 2014-09-12 Created: 2014-09-12 Last updated: 2014-10-21Bibliographically approved

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Yu, Ji-GuoStål, Per SMalm, Christer
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