The effects of two weeks of recombinant growth hormone administration on the response of IGF-I and N-terminal pro-peptide of collagen type III (P-III-NP) during a single bout of high resistance exercise in resistance trained young men
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Exercise and Health Sciences / Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research
Objective: Recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) is used by some athletes and body builders with the aim of enhancing performance, building muscle and improving physique. Detection of the misuse of rhGH has proved difficult for a number of reasons. One of these is the effect of preceding exercise. In this randomised, double blind placebo-controlled study, we determined the effects of rhGH administration in male amateur athletes on two candidate markers of rhGH abuse, IGF-I and N-terminal pro-peptide of collagen type III (P-III-NP), following a bout of weightlifting exercise. Design: Sixteen men entered a four-week general weight training programme to homogenise their activity profile. They then undertook repeated bouts of standardised leg press weightlifting exercise (AHRET-acute heavy resistance exercise test). Blood samples were taken before and up to one hour after the AHRET. After the first laboratory visit (Test 1), the subjects were randomly assigned to receive daily injections of either rhGH (0.1IUkg-1day-1) or placebo for two weeks. The AHRET was repeated after the two-week dosing period (Test 2) and a further test was undertaken following a one-week washout (Test 3). Results: There was no effect of exercise on either IGF-I or P-III-NP in any test. Both markers were markedly elevated at Test 2 (p<0.001), with P-III-NP remaining elevated at Test 3 in the GH administration group (p<0.05). Application of the GH-2000 discriminant function positively identified GH administration in 17 of 40 blood samples taken at Test 2 from the rhGH group and none from the placebo group. Conclusion: The data show that rhGH results in elevated levels of IGF-I and P-III-NP in well-trained individuals and that leg press weightlifting exercise does not affect these markers. The GH-2000 discriminant function identified four of eight subjects taking rhGH with no false positive results.