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Detection of growth hormone doping by gene expression profiling of peripheral blood


CONTEXT: GH abuse is a significant problem in many sports, and there is currently no robust test that allows detection of doping beyond a short window after administration. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to evaluate gene expression profiling in peripheral blood leukocytes in-vivo as a test for GH doping in humans. DESIGN: Seven men and thirteen women were administered GH, 2 mg/d sc for 8 wk. Blood was collected at baseline and at 8 wk. RNA was extracted from the white cell fraction. Microarray analysis was undertaken using Agilent 44K G4112F arrays using a two-color design. Quantitative RT-PCR using TaqMan gene expression assays was performed for validation of selected differentially expressed genes. RESULTS: GH induced an approximately 2-fold increase in circulating IGF-I that was maintained throughout the 8 wk of the study. GH induced significant changes in gene expression with 353 in women and 41 in men detected with a false discovery rate of less than 5%. None of the differentially expressed genes were common between men and women. The maximal changes were a doubling for up-regulated or halving for down-regulated genes, similar in magnitude to the variation between individuals. Quantitative RT-PCR for seven target genes showed good concordance between microarray and quantitative PCR data in women but not in men. CONCLUSION: Gene expression analysis of peripheral blood leukocytes is unlikely to be a viable approach for the detection of GH doping.

Type Journal
ISBN 1945-7197 (Electronic)
Authors Mitchell, C. J.; Nelson, A. E.; Cowley, M. J.; Kaplan, W.; Stone, G.; Sutton, S. K.; Lau, A.; Lee, C. M.; Ho, K. K.;
Garvan Authors
Published Date 2009-01-01 00:00:00
Published Volume 94
Published Issue 12
Published Pages 4703-9
Status Published in-print