Research Paper Volume 12, Issue 15 pp 15314—15327
Anabolic-androgenic steroids and brain injury: miRNA evaluation in users compared to cocaine abusers and elderly people
- 1 Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Foggia, Foggia 71122, Italy
- 2 Department of Medical, Surgical and Advanced Technologies “G.F. Ingrassia”, University of Catania, Catania 95121, Italy
- 3 Department of Legal, Historical, Economic and Social Sciences, University of Catanzaro, Catanzaro 88100, Italy
- 4 Department of Biomedical and Dental Sciences, and of Morphological and Functional Images, Section of Legal Medicine, University of Messina, Messina 98121, Italy
Received: March 17, 2020 Accepted: June 4, 2020 Published: August 3, 2020https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.103512
How to Cite
Copyright © 2020 Sessa et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AASs) can be used to treat both hormonal diseases and other pathologies characterized by muscle loss (aging, cancer, and AIDS). Even if the adverse effects related to the misuse of AASs have been well studied in different systems and apparatuses, knowledge about brain damage is poor.
In this scenario, this experimental study aimed to analyze the role of several microRNAs (miRNAs) in brain damage after AAS misuse, to better comprehend the underlying mechanisms. The research hypothesis at the base of this experimental study is that the chronic use of AASs may be associated to brain damage with a dysregulation of these miRNAs. Moreover, miRNA expression values were compared among three different groups, “AAS” group, “Cocaine” group and “Aging” group, in order to define if AAS brain damage can be compared with the brain impairment linked to aging and/or cocaine assumption.
This experimental study revealed that the tested miRNAs (hsa-miR-21-5p, hsa-miR-34a-5p, hsa-miR-124-5p, hsa-miR-132-3p, and hsa-miR-144-3p) were overexpressed in all enrolled groups. In the light of the presented results, the identification of specific circulating and/or tissue biomarkers is challenging for the scientific community. Further studies with larger samples are needed to confirm these interesting findings.