Toward the development of a test for growth hormone (GH) abuse: a study of extreme physiological ranges of GH-dependent markers in 813 elite athletes in the postcompetition setting.
ABSTRACT There is a need to develop a test to detect GH abuse by elite athletes. Measured levels of GH in blood or urine, however, provide little information on the GH-IGF-I axis. Previous studies have identified a series of indirect markers of GH action that are markedly altered by the administration of GH, but to a lesser degree by acute exercise. This study was undertaken to determine the physiological range of these GH-dependent variables in elite athletes after a competitive event to determine whether such values differ from resting values in normal and athletic subjects and to establish whether any adjustments to this range are required on the basis of age, gender, demographic characteristics, or the nature of the exercise performed. Serum samples were collected from 813 elite athletes (537 males and 276 females; age range, 17-64 yr) from 15 sporting disciplines within 2 h of completion of a major competitive event. IGF-I, IGF-binding protein 2 (IGFBP-2), IGFBP-3, acid-labile subunit, and the bone and soft tissue markers, osteocalcin, carboxyl-terminal propeptide of type I procollagen, carboxyl-terminal cross-linked telopeptide of type I collagen, and procollagen type III were measured. Sporting category, gender, age, height, weight, body mass index (BMI), and racial group of the athlete were documented, and results were compared both to normative data and to values obtained from elite athletes under resting conditions. Forty-one percent of IGF-I values in male athletes and 41% of values in female athletes were above the upper limits of 99% reference ranges derived from resting values in a normal population. Postcompetition levels of all variables except carboxyl-terminal propeptide of type I procollagen and carboxyl-terminal cross-linked telopeptide of type I collagen differed from resting values. There was a consistent age-dependent fall in measured levels of all variables (P < 0.0001) with the exception of IGFBP-2, which increased with age (P < 0.0001). BMI, but not height, exerted a small, but significant, influence on several variables. After adjustment for age, there were no significant differences in the levels of any of the measured variables between sporting categories. IGFBP-2 and IGFBP-3 were lower in 35 black athletes compared with those in 35 white athletes matched for age, gender, height, BMI, and sporting category. We have demonstrated that there are predictable age-dependent levels of GH-dependent markers in elite athletes that are consistent even at the extremes of physical exertion and that these are independent of sporting category. Normative data applicable to white athletes are provided. This provides important groundwork for the development of a test for GH abuse, although these values may be specific for the reagents and assays used.
- The American Journal of Bioethics 07/2012; 12(7):17-9. · 4.00 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To athletes, insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) is an attractive performance-enhancing drug, particularly as an alternative to growth hormone (GH) because IGF-I mediates many of the anabolic actions of GH. IGF-I has beneficial effects on muscle protein synthesis and glycogen storage that could enhance performance in several sporting disciplines. Recombinant human IGF-I (rhIGF-I) is used in clinical practice, but a variety of IGF-I compounds and IGF-I analogues are also advertised on the internet and many have been available on the black market for several years. Although methods for detecting GH misuse are now well established and there have been several cases in which athletes have tested positive for GH, no test is yet in place for detecting IGF-I misuse. The GH-2004 research group has been investigating methods for detection of IGF-I misuse and a test is being developed on the basis of the principles of the successful GH-2000 marker method, in which markers from the IGF axis and markers of collagen and bone turnover are used to detect GH misuse. Commercial immunoassays for these markers have been validated for anti-doping purposes but new methods, including IGF-I measurement by use of mass spectrometry, should improve the performance of the tests and help in the detection of athletes who are doping with these peptide hormones.Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 08/2013; · 3.66 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Biomarker profiling, as a rapid screening approach for detection of hormone abuse, requires well selected candidate biomarkers and a thorough in vivo biomarker evaluation as previously done for detection of growth hormone doping in athletes. The bovine equivalent of growth hormone, called recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST) is (il)legally administered to enhance milk production in dairy cows. In this study, first a generic sample pre-treatment and 4-plex flow cytometric immunoassay (FCIA) were developed for simultaneous measurement of four candidate biomarkers selected from literature: insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), its binding protein 2 (IGFBP2), osteocalcin and endogenously produced antibodies against rbST. Next, bovine serum samples from two extensive controlled rbST animal treatment studies were used for in vivo validation and biomarker evaluation. Finally, advanced statistic tools were tested for the assessment of biomarker combination quality aiming to correctly identify rbST-treated animals. The statistical prediction tool k-nearest neighbours using a combination of the biomarkers osteocalcin and endogenously produced antibodies against rbST proved to be very reliable and correctly predicted 95% of the treated samples starting from the second rbST injection until the end of the treatment period and even thereafter. With the same biomarker combination, only 12% of untreated animals appeared false-positive. This reliability meets the requirements of Commission Decision 2002/657/EC for screening methods in veterinary control. From the results of this multidisciplinary study, it is concluded that the osteocalcin - anti-rbST-antibodies combination represent fit-for-purpose biomarkers for screening of rbST abuse in dairy cattle and can be reliably measured in both the developed 4-plex FCIA as well as in a cost-effective 2-plex microsphere-based binding assay. This screening method can be incorporated in routine veterinary monitoring programmes: in the European Union for detection of rbST abuse and in the control of rbST-free dairy farms in the United States of America and other countries.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(12):e52917. · 3.73 Impact Factor