Molecular Effects of Supraphysiological Doses of Doping Agents on Health

Molecular Effects of Supraphysiological Doses of Doping Agents on Health / Esther Imperlini, Annamaria Mancini, Andreina Alfieri, Domenico Martone, Marianna Caterino, Stefania Orrù, Pasqualina Buono. - (Molecular BioSystems 11 (2015) 6 (June); p. 1494-1506).

  • PMID: 25787095.
  • DOI: 10.1039/c5mb00030k


Performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) gained wide popularity not only among sportsmen but also among specific subsets of population, such as adolescents. Apart from their claimed effects on athletic performance, they are very appealing due to the body shaping effect exerted on fat mass and fat-free mass. Besides the "underestimated" massive misuse of PEDs, the short- as well as long-term consequences of such habits remain largely unrecognized. They have been strictly associated with serious adverse effects, but molecular mechanisms are yet to be elucidated. Here, we analyze the current understanding of the molecular effects of supraphysiological doses of doping agents in healthy biological systems, at genomic and proteomic levels, in order to define the molecular sensors of organ/tissue impairment, determined by their misuse. The focus is put on the anabolic androgenic steroids (AASs), specifically testosterone (T) and its most potent derivative dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and on the peptide hormones, specifically the growth hormone (GH) and the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). A map of molecular targets is defined and the risk incidence for human health is taken into account.

Original document


10 March 2015
Alfieri, Andreina
Buono, Pasqualina
Caternino, Marianna
Imperlini, Esther
Mancini, Annamaria
Martone, Domenico
Orrù, Stefania
Other organisations
SDN Istituto di Ricerca Diagnostica e Nucleare (IRCCS) - SDN Foundation for Research and Higher Education in Nuclear Diagnostics
Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope" - Parthenope University of Naples
Doping classes
S1. Anabolic Agents
S2. Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors
Dihydrotestosterone (17β-hydroxy-5α-androstan-3-one)
Growth hormone (GH)
Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1)
Medical terms
Health effects
Document category
Scientific article
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Pdf file
Date generated
3 June 2020
Date of last modification
28 October 2020
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