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17.09.2009


EPO-gene injection results in increased muscle and definition

EPO-gene injection results in increased muscle and definition
Once gene doping has become just as normal as, say, a bottle of trenbolone or oxymetholone, EPO-genes will become interesting for strength athletes. A Danish study has produced interesting evidence.

The Danes injected plasmids containing synthetic EPO-genes once into the tibialis cranialis [calf muscle] of mice. At the same time they subjected the mice to electric shocks to improve the cells' uptake of the new genes. Then they looked at whether the animals became better at burning fat. Evidence from hospitals and from chemical cyclists, although the researchers don't mention these indicates that EPO may enhance energy burning. This evidence inspired the researchers to assess whether EPO [structure above] may perhaps be an interesting ingredient for weight-loss medication.

After treatment, the concentration of EPO in the mice increased by a factor of 60. And the increase of the EPO concentration in the calf muscle was 500 times higher than in the blood.

This abnormal EPO level changed the way in which the mice reacted to a high fat diet. They also became less fat. The figure below shows the effect of the synthetic genes on the amount of abdominal fat. The mice that were on a healthy diet also lost significant amounts of fat.


EPO-gene injection results in increased muscle and definition


The synthetic genes also caused an increase in muscle mass in the mice, especially in the tibialis cranialis, but also in the same muscle in the other leg of the animals.


EPO-gene injection results in increased muscle and definition


The increase in muscle mass is probably the result of new blood vessels being created in the muscles as a result of high EPO levels.


EPO-gene injection results in increased muscle and definition


The cellular metabolism changes in the muscle. Sensitivity to insulin increases and the concentration of glucose in the blood decreases. The muscle cells become more efficient at burning fat, as the figure below shows.


EPO-gene injection results in increased muscle and definition


The researchers think they may be on the way to a new treatment for obesity, but suspect that the current substances are not suitable. An abnormally high EPO level is not very healthy: the blood becomes so thick that the risk of heart attack increases. But the Danes are predicting the development of "EPO versions to counteract metabolic syndrome without exacerbated and undesired hematocrit increase".

Source:
PLoS One. 2009 Jun 12;4(6):e5894.

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