Androgens and the control of skeletal muscle protein synthesis
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Athletes have long supported the concept that anabolic steroids increase skeletal muscle mass. However, it was only recently that both testosterone and its synthetic analogue, oxandrolone, were proven capable of inducing myotrophic effects in postabsorptive human skeletal muscle. These findings have provided the physiological evidence that anabolic steroids deserve attention in the clinical arena as a pharmacological intervention against losses in lean body mass associated with age, disease, trauma and burn injury. However, we are lacking in vivo molecular evidence that would directly or indirectly link androgens and the androgen receptor with increases in skeletal muscle mass. Clearly, a need exists to link in vivo and in vitro studies from both the physiological and molecular arena as they relate to androgens and the control and regulation of skeletal muscle mass. In this brief review, newly discovered information and emerging theories relating to the direct, indirect, priming and antiglucocorticoid action of androgens on skeletal muscle will be presented.
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