The documentary’s timing and locale is intentionally inopportune – it is in China where the Summer Olympics is to commence on August 8. The documentary, which aired on ARD television in Germany, shows that despite the clean-up act of Chinese authorities conducted for many months now, it is still business as usual for the manufacturers and traders of anabolic steroids. And this is causing alarm amongst anti-doping agencies. Even more alarming for these watchdogs is the fact that there is a clear stepping up of doping in competitive sports – the use of biotechnology to enhance the performance of athletes.
by Patrick Arnold - EPO is sold in recombinant form (rhEPO) for injection. It usually is packaged as a lyophilized (freeze dried) powder that is reconstituted with sterile water before injection. One popular form is called Epogen (r), and it is made for subcutaneous usage. A starting dosage is typically 20 . per kilogram bodyweight, 3 times/week. After two to four weeks, a maintenance dose of 20 . /kg BW can be taken once a week.
EPO use can be very dangerous if the user allows their hematocrit to creep too high. The ideal hematocrit for athletic performance is thought to be 55 (expressed in percent). Levels above this can result in "sludging" of the blood, which reduces microcirculation. This is counterproductive to oxygen transport. Additionally, at high hematocrit levels one is at greater risk for deadly vascular events such as stroke, especially if he/she becomes dehydrated during competition (which increases hematocrit even further).
In addition to increasing aerobic efficiency through greater oxygen transport in the blood, there is some evidence suggesting EPO may also have anabolic effects. EPO has been shown in rat studies to substantially increase weight gain and injury repair after surgery. Furthermore, EPO receptors are present on myoblasts (immature muscle cell progenitors) and may have a potential in muscle development and repair.
The mechanism of action of interferon beta‐1b in patients with multiple sclerosis is unknown. Interferon beta‐1b receptor binding induces the expression of proteins that are responsible for the pleiotropic bioactivities of interferon beta‐1b. A number of these proteins (including neopterin, B2‐microglobulin, MxA protein, and IL‐10) have been measured in blood fractions from Betaseron‐treated patients and Betaseron‐treated healthy volunteers. Immunomodulatory effects of interferon beta‐1b include enhancement of suppressor T cell activity, reduction of pro‐inflammatory cytokine production, down regulation of antigen presentation, and inhibition of lymphocyte trafficking into the central nervous system. It is not known if these effects play an important role in the observed clinical activity of Betaseron in MS.