Androgen abuse in athletes: detection and consequences.
ABSTRACT Doping with anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) both in sports (especially power sports) and among specific subsets of the population is rampant. With increasing availability of designer androgens, significant efforts are needed by antidoping authorities to develop sensitive methods to detect their use.
The PubMed and Google Scholar search engines were used to identify publications addressing various forms of doping, methods employed in their detection, and adverse effects associated with their use.
The list of drugs prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has grown in the last decade. The newer entries into this list include gonadotropins, estrogen antagonists, aromatase inhibitors, androgen precursors, and selective androgen receptor modulators. The use of mass spectrometry has revolutionized the detection of various compounds; however, challenges remain in identifying newer designer androgens because their chemical signature is unknown. Development of high throughput bioassays may be an answer to this problem. It appears that the use of AAS continues to be associated with premature mortality (especially cardiovascular) in addition to suppressed spermatogenesis, gynecomastia, and virilization.
The attention that androgen abuse has received lately should be used as an opportunity to educate both athletes and the general population regarding their adverse effects. The development of sensitive detection techniques may help discourage (at least to some extent) the abuse of these compounds. Investigations are needed to identify ways to hasten the recovery of the gonadal axis in AAS users and to determine the mechanism of cardiac damage by these compounds.
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ABSTRACT: "Even when reductions in HDL-cholesterol are observed as a consequence of androgen therapy, the implications for cardiovascular risk modification remain highly uncertain."Clinical lipidology. 08/2012; 7(4):363-365.
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ABSTRACT: This study systematically evaluates the effects of androgen receptor (AR) blockade on molecular events in Leydig cells. Results showed that intramuscular administration of Testosterone-enanthate, at clinically relevant dose, decreased testosterone in interstitial fluid and Leydig cells from adult rats. AR-blocker (Androcur) prevented this effect and testosterone-reduced Leydig cells steroidogenic capacity/activity. Testosterone-reduced expression of some steroidogenic enzymes/proteins (Tspo,StAR,Hsd3b1/2) and transcription factors (Nur77,Gata4,Dax1) was completely abrogated, while decreased expression of Star,Cyp11a1,Cyp17a1,Hsd17b4,Creb1a was partially prevented. In the same cells, increased expression of Hsd3b5/HSD3B and Ar/AR was abolished. Androcur-treatment abolished testosterone-reduced cAMP, coupled with a changed expressional milieu of cAMP signaling elements. Results from in vitro experiments suggest that some of these effects are testosterone-AR dependent, while others could be due to disturbed LH and/or other signals. Presented data provide new molecular insight into Leydig cells function and are important in terms of human reproductive health and the wide-spread use of Androcur as well as use/abuse of Testosterone-enanthate.Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 01/2014; · 4.04 Impact Factor
Article: Drug abuse in athletes.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Drug abuse occurs in all sports and at most levels of competition. Athletic life may lead to drug abuse for a number of reasons, including for performance enhancement, to self-treat otherwise untreated mental illness, and to deal with stressors, such as pressure to perform, injuries, physical pain, and retirement from sport. This review examines the history of doping in athletes, the effects of different classes of substances used for doping, side effects of doping, the role of anti-doping organizations, and treatment of affected athletes. Doping goes back to ancient times, prior to the development of organized sports. Performance-enhancing drugs have continued to evolve, with "advances" in doping strategies driven by improved drug testing detection methods and advances in scientific research that can lead to the discovery and use of substances that may later be banned. Many sports organizations have come to ban the use of performance-enhancing drugs and have very strict consequences for people caught using them. There is variable evidence for the performance-enhancing effects and side effects of the various substances that are used for doping. Drug abuse in athletes should be addressed with preventive measures, education, motivational interviewing, and, when indicated, pharmacologic interventions.Substance abuse and rehabilitation. 01/2014; 5:95-105.