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Erythropoietin administration does not influence the GH--IGF axis or makers of bone turnover in recreational athletes


OBJECTIVE: Measurement of biochemical markers of the IGF-system and of collagen turnover is a potential approach to detect GH abuse in sport. These markers are increased in patients on dialysis treated with recombinant human erythropoietin (r-HuEPO), mimicking the effects of GH. The aim was to determine whether r-HuEPO induces similar effects on the IGF-system and collagen turnover in healthy athletes. SUBJECTS AND MEASUREMENTS: Young male Caucasian recreational athletes were administered 50 U/kg r-HuEPO (n=14) or placebo (n=16) three times a week for 25 days, followed by a 4-week wash-out period. IGF-I, IGFBP-3, the acid labile subunit (ALS), N-terminal propeptide of type I collagen (PINP), C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (ICTP) and N-terminal propeptide of type III collagen (PIIINP) were measured in samples collected at baseline (two samples), after 10, 22 and 24 days of r-HuEPO treatment and at the end of the 4-week wash-out period. RESULTS: Treatment with r-HuEPO resulted in approximately threefold elevation of serum EPO and marked elevation of markers of erythropoiesis. There was no significant treatment effect of r-HuEPO compared to baseline on IGF-I, IGFBP-3, ALS, PINP, ICTP or PIIINP. CONCLUSIONS: r-HuEPO administration did not change markers of the IGF-system and of collagen turnover in young healthy male athletes. Therefore, use of r-HuEPO in athletes should not affect the validity of a GH doping test using these GH-responsive markers.

Type Journal
ISBN 0300-0664 (Print)
Authors Nelson, A. E.;Howe, C. J.;Nguyen, T. V.;Seibel, M. J.;Baxter, R. C.;Handelsman, D. J.;Kazlauskas, R.;Ho, K. K. :
Responsible Garvan Author (missing name)
Published Date 2005-01-01
Published Volume 63
Published Issue 3
Published Pages 305-9
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version