Year in Review: Gift of steroids keeps on giving | Science News

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Year in Review: Gift of steroids keeps on giving

Mouse muscles stay juiced long after doping ends

10:00am, December 27, 2013

PUMPED UP  Muscles in mice treated with steroids (right) grow bigger than muscles in undrugged mice (left). Steroids also increase the number of a muscle cell’s nuclei, which may help rebuild mass long after the steroids are gone.


Once a cheater, always a cheater, a mouse study found — at least when it comes to steroids.

The result, reported in October, strongly implies that anabolic steroids like testosterone give doping athletes a competitive advantage for years — perhaps even decades — after they stop taking the drugs.

If antidoping agencies were to revise steroid bans based on the results, those caught cheating might effectively face lifetime expulsion from competition.

In the experiment, female mice dosed with testosterone bulked up their muscles considerably. Along with increasing the size of muscle fibers, the steroid-treated animals boosted the number of nuclei in their muscle cells by up to 66 percent, Kristian Gundersen of the University of Oslo and

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