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Strenght training and anabolic steroids: a comparative study of the trapezius, a shoulder muscle and the vastus lateralis, a thigh muscle, of strength trained athletes
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Integrative Medical Biology.
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Strength training is widely used to increase performance in sports with high physical demands. The use of drugs such as anabolic steroids among athletes is a wellknown phenomenon, and the effects of these drugs on physical performance documented.

The studies presented in this thesis focused on the mechanisms of muscle fiber hypertrophy in the vastus lateralis and the trapezius muscles of strength trained elite athletes. The main hypothesis was that the muscle adaptations to strength training and anabolic steroids are muscle specific.

Biopsies were obtained from the trapezius and the vastus lateralis from three groups of elite power lifters. Nine used drugs, ten did not and seven had previously used drugs. Six sedentary males served as controls. The biopsies were frozen and cut in serial cross sections. Histological and immunohistochemical staining techniques were used to analyze muscle fiber morphology and pathology. Fiber type distribution, fiber area, myonuclei number and distribution, satellite cell number and proportion of split fibers were counted and compared for the two muscles within and between the groups.

The main findings were that: a) Muscle fiber hypertrophy by strength training is further increased by anabolic steroids. b) The number of nuclei per muscle fiber is higher in power lifters using anabolic steroids compared to non-steroids using lifters. c) Among power lifters who have withdrawn from anabolic steroid usage and training for several years, the number of myonuclei, both subsarcolemmal and internal, remains high. d) In active power lifters, anabolic steroids have no further effect on the number of satellite cells per fiber. e) Power lifters have a high proportion of split fibers.

High intensity resistance training increases muscle strength and banned substances such as testosterone and anabolic steroids can enhance the training effects. The studies on muscle cell morphology presented in this thesis reveals that anabolic steroids and testosterone increases muscle fiber size and adds more nuclei to the muscle cell.

Based on the morphological appearance of muscle sections from doped and nondoped power lifters, we conclude that testosterone and anabolic steroids enhances the hypertrophic effects of training without adding new features. The addition of myonuclei by training and doping appears to be longer lasting in some muscles than in others. The high proportion of split fibers in power lifter is probably due to high mechanical stress. The findings and conclusions in this thesis raise questions regarding relevant suspension times for athletes caught with banned substances in the body.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. , 51 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1032
Keyword [en]
strength training, anabolic steroids, vastus lateralis, trapezius, enzymehistochemistry, immunohistochemistry, muscle fiber, myonuclei, satellite cell
Research subject
Human Anatomy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-869ISBN: 91-7264-101-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-869DiVA: diva2:144813
Public defence
2006-10-06, Stora föreläsningssalen, Biologihuset, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Available from: 2006-09-19 Created: 2006-09-19 Last updated: 2009-10-02Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Cellular adaptation of the trapezius muscle in strength-trained athletes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cellular adaptation of the trapezius muscle in strength-trained athletes
1999 (English)In: Histochemistry and Cell Biology, ISSN 0948-6143, E-ISSN 1432-119X, Vol. 111, no 3, 189-195 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-5325 (URN)10.1007/s004180050348 (DOI)10094415 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2006-09-19 Created: 2006-09-19 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
2. Effects of anabolic steroids on the muscle cells of strength trained athletes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of anabolic steroids on the muscle cells of strength trained athletes
1999 (English)In: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, ISSN 0195-9131, E-ISSN 1530-0315, Vol. 31, no 11, 1528-1534 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-5326 (URN)10589853 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2006-09-19 Created: 2006-09-19 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
3. Skeletal muscle morphology in power-lifters with and without anabolic steroids.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Skeletal muscle morphology in power-lifters with and without anabolic steroids.
2005 (English)In: Histochemistry and Cell Biology, ISSN 0948-6143, E-ISSN 1432-119X, Vol. 124, no 2, 167-175 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The morphological appearance of the vastus lateralis (VL) muscle from high-level power-lifters on long-term anabolic steroid supplementation (PAS) and power-lifters never taking anabolic steroids (P) was compared. The effects of long- and short-term supplementation were compared. Enzyme-immunohistochemical investigations were performed to assess muscle fiber type composition, fiber area, number of myonuclei per fiber, internal myonuclei, myonuclear domains and proportion of satellite cells. The PAS group had larger type I, IIA, IIAB and IIC fiber areas (p<0.05). The number of myonuclei/fiber and the proportion of central nuclei were significantly higher in the PAS group (p<0.05). Similar results were seen in the trapezius muscle (T) but additionally, in T the proportion of fibers expressing developmental myosin isoforms was higher in the PAS group compared to the P group. Further, in VL, the PAS group had significantly larger nuclear domains in fibers containing > or = 5 myonuclei. The results of AS on VL morphology in this study were similar to previously reported short-term effects of AS on VL. The initial effects from AS appear to be maintained for several years.

Keyword
Adult, Anabolic Agents/*pharmacology, Cell Nucleus/drug effects/pathology, Humans, Male, Muscle Fibers/drug effects/metabolism, Muscle Fibers; Fast-Twitch/*drug effects/metabolism/pathology, Muscle Fibers; Slow-Twitch/*drug effects/metabolism/pathology, Muscle; Skeletal/*drug effects/metabolism/pathology, Myosins/metabolism, Protein Isoforms/metabolism, Weight Lifting
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-12685 (URN)doi:10.1007/s00418-005-0029-5 (DOI)16059740 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2008-01-11 Created: 2008-01-11 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
4. Hypertrophic muscle fibers with fissures in power-lifters; fiber splitting or defect regeneration?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hypertrophic muscle fibers with fissures in power-lifters; fiber splitting or defect regeneration?
2006 (English)In: Histochemistry and Cell Biology, ISSN 0948-6143, E-ISSN 1432-119X, Vol. 126, no 4, 409-417 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Power-lifters have hypertrophic muscle fibers with fissures seen in cross-sections, called as fiber splitting.Whether this phenomenon is due to real splitting or defective regeneration has not been settled. To elucidate this matter,we have examined biopsies from the trapezius and vastus lateralis of power lifters (P group) and power lifters self-administrating anabolic steroids (PAS group). For this purpose, immunohistochemical staining of serial cross -sections was used. The PAS group had significantly more fibers with fissures than the P group in the vastus lateralis (1.2%+/-0.95% vs 0.35+/-0.34, P < 0.05) but not in the trapezius muscle (1.7% in both groups). Serial sections revealed that the fibers with fissures changed their profile profoundly over short distances. Some such fibers had a mature staining profile, whereas other fibers indicated recent degeneration and/or regeneration. Activation of satellite cells and formation of aberrant segments were also evident. We conclude that the so-called split fibers are due to defect regeneration. Some fibers with fissures are the results of old events of segmental muscle fiber damage, whereas the others reflect an ongoing process. The normal regenerative process is most likely disturbed in power-lifters by their continuous training with repeated high mechanical stress on the muscles.

Keyword
Adult, Anabolic Agents/administration & dosage, Humans, Hypertrophy, Immunohistochemistry, Male, Muscle Fibers/*pathology/*physiology, Muscle; Skeletal/drug effects/ultrastructure, Regeneration, Self Administration, Steroids/administration & dosage, Weight Lifting
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-12683 (URN)10.1007/s00418-006-0176-3 (DOI)16625366 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2008-01-11 Created: 2008-01-11 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
5. Anabolic steroids withdrawal in strength trained athletes: how does it affect skeletal muscles
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Anabolic steroids withdrawal in strength trained athletes: how does it affect skeletal muscles
Show others...
(English)Manuscript (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-5329 (URN)
Available from: 2006-09-19 Created: 2006-09-19 Last updated: 2010-06-23Bibliographically approved

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