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Skeletal muscle morphology in power-lifters with and without anabolic steroids.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Integrative Medical Biology, Anatomy.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Integrative Medical Biology, Anatomy.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Integrative Medical Biology, Anatomy.
2005 (English)In: Histochemistry and Cell Biology, ISSN 0948-6143, 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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 124, no 2, 167-175 p.
Keyword [en]
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
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-12685DOI: doi:10.1007/s00418-005-0029-5PubMedID: 16059740OAI: diva2:152356
Available from: 2008-01-11 Created: 2008-01-11 Last updated: 2009-10-02Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. 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
Open this publication in new window or tab >>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
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.

51 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1032
strength training, anabolic steroids, vastus lateralis, trapezius, enzymehistochemistry, immunohistochemistry, muscle fiber, myonuclei, satellite cell
Research subject
Human Anatomy
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-869 (URN)91-7264-101-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-10-06, Stora föreläsningssalen, Biologihuset, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2006-09-19 Created: 2006-09-19 Last updated: 2009-10-02Bibliographically approved

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