Int J Sports Med 2000; 21(6): 406-411
DOI: 10.1055/s-2000-3834
Physiology and Biochemistry
Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

The Effect of Supraphysiological Doses of Anabolic Androgenic Steroids on Collagen Metabolism

M. Pärssinen1,2 ,  T. Karila1,2 ,  V. Kovanen3 ,  T. Seppälä1
  • 1 National Public Health Institute, Laboratory of Substance Abuse, Helsinki
  • 2 Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Helsinki
  • 3 Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
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31. Dezember 2000 (online)

We examined the effect of supraphysiological doses of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) on collagen metabolism and whether the changes reflect the alterations in muscle, bone, and tendon collagen metabolism, possibly in a tissue-specific manner. Serum carboxyterminal propeptide of type I procollagen (PICP), carboxyterminal telopeptide of type I collagen (ICTP), aminoterminal propeptide of type III procollagen (PIIINP), urine hydroxylysylpyridinoline (HP), and lysylpyridinoline (LP) as well as urine creatinine were determined from 17 men abusing AAS. Measurements were made twice during the intake of AAS and twice during the subsequent withdrawal period. When the volunteers were on steroids, their serum PIIINP concentrations and urine HP/LP ratio were significantly higher and their serum ICTP concentrations were significantly lower than during the withdrawal period (p < 0.05). Serum PIIINP correlated with total cumulative doses of injectable intramuscular steroids, and serum ICTP correlated with the duration of the steroid intake period (p < 0.05). The results suggest that high doses of AAS decrease the degradation and seem to increase the synthesis of type I collagen. Furthermore, high doses of AAS are suggested to enhance soft tissue collagen metabolism on the basis of increased type III collagen synthesis and elevated HP/LP ratio during the steroid administration period. Although the tissue-specific turnover of collagen of soft connective tissues remains unknown, the turnover of bone collagen seems not to change following the use of high doses of AAS, at least within the time interval of the present study.


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Miia Pärssinen

National Public Health Institute Laboratory of Substance Abuse

Mannerheimintie 166 00300 Helsinki Finland

Telefon: Phone:+ 358 (9) 47448425

Fax: Fax:+ 358 (9) 47448553