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Genomic predictors of testosterone levels are associated with muscle fiber size and strength

Guilherme, JPLF, Semenova, EA, Borisov, O, Larin, AK, Moreland, E, Generozov, E and Ahmetov, II (2021) Genomic predictors of testosterone levels are associated with muscle fiber size and strength. European Journal of Applied Physiology. ISSN 1439-6319

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Purpose: Circulating testosterone levels are a heritable trait with anabolic properties in various tissues, including skeletal muscle. So far, hundreds of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with testosterone levels have been identified in nonathletic populations. The aim of the present study was to test the association of 822 testosterone-increasing SNPs with muscle-related traits (muscle fiber size, fat-free mass and handgrip strength) and to validate the identified SNPs in independent cohorts of strength and power athletes.
Methods: One hundred and forty-eight physically active individuals (47 females, 101 males) were assessed for cross-sectional area (CSA) of fast-twitch muscle fibers. Significant SNPs were further assessed for fat-free mass and handgrip strength in > 354,000 participants from the UK Biobank cohort. The validation cohorts included Russian elite athletes.
Results: From an initial panel of 822 SNPs, we identified five testosterone-increasing alleles (DOCK3 rs77031559 G, ESR1 rs190930099 G, GLIS3 rs34706136 TG, GRAMD1B rs850294 T, TRAIP rs62260729 C) nominally associated (P < 0.05) with CSA of fast-twitch muscle fibers, fat-free mass and handgrip strength. Based on these five SNPs, the number of testosterone-increasing alleles was positively associated with testosterone levels in male athletes (P = 0.048) and greater strength performance in weightlifters (P = 0.017). Moreover, the proportion of participants with ≥ 2 testosterone-increasing alleles was higher in power athletes compared to controls (68.9 vs. 55.6%; P = 0.012).
Conclusion: Testosterone-related SNPs are associated with muscle fiber size, fat-free mass and strength, which combined can partially contribute to a greater predisposition to strength/power sports.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1106 Human Movement and Sports Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Springer
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2022 11:17
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2022 11:17
DOI or ID number: 10.1007/s00421-021-04851-w
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15996
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