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Front. Pharmacol. | doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.01321

Anabolic Androgenic Steroids: searching new molecular biomarkers

 Francesco Sessa1*,  MONICA SALERNO1,  Giulio DI MIZIO2,  Giuseppe Bertozzi1,  Giovanni Messina1,  Benedetta Tomaiuolo1, Daniela Pisanelli1, Francesca Maglietta1, Pietrantonio Ricci1, 2 and  Cristoforo Pomara3
  • 1Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale, Università degli studi di Foggia, Italy
  • 2Department of Legal, Historical, Economic and Social Sciences, Università degli studi Magna Græcia di Catanzaro, Italy
  • 3Department of Medical, Surgical and Advanced Technologies "G.F. Ingrassia", Università degli Studi di Catania, Italy

Even if anabolic androgenic steroid (AAS) abuse is clearly associated with a wide spectrum of collateral effects, adolescents and athletes frequently use a large group of synthetic derivatives of testosterone, both for aesthetic uses and for improving performance.
Over the last few years, the development of MicroRNA (miRNA) technologies has become an essential part of research projects and their role as potential molecular biomarkers is being investigated by the scientific community. The circulating miRNAs detection as a diagnostic or prognostic tool for the diagnosis and treatment of several diseases is very useful, because with a minimal quantity of sample (peripheral blood), miRNAs are very sensitive. Even more, miRNAs remain stable both at room temperature and during freeze-thaw cycles.These characteristics highlight the important role of miRNAs in the near future as new tools for anti-doping.
The article provides a systematic review and meta-analysis on the role of miRNAs as new potential molecular biomarkers of AAS use/abuse. Particularly, this paper analyzed the "miRNA signature" use as biomarkers for health disorders, focusing on the organ damages which are related to ASS use/abuse. Moreover, this review aims to provide a future prospect for less invasive or noninvasive procedures for the detection of circulating miRNA biomarkers as doping assumption signaling.

Keywords: Anabolic androgenic steroids (AASs), adverse effects, miRNAs, Doping, new molecular biomarkers

Received: 30 Sep 2018; Accepted: 29 Oct 2018.

Edited by:

Filippo Caraci, Università degli Studi di Catania, Italy

Reviewed by:

Robert Nistico, Università della Calabria, Italy
Gianluigi Mazzoccoli, Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza (IRCCS), Italy  

Copyright: © 2018 Sessa, SALERNO, DI MIZIO, Bertozzi, Messina, Tomaiuolo, Pisanelli, Maglietta, Ricci and Pomara. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Francesco Sessa, Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale, Università degli studi di Foggia, Foggia, 71121, Apulia, Italy,