Doping dose of salbutamol and exercise training: impact on the skeleton of ovariectomized rats

Bonnet, N.; Laroche, N.; Beaupied, H.; Vico, L.; Dolleans, E.; Benhamou, C.L.; Courteix, D.

Journal of Applied Physiology 103(2): 524-533


ISSN/ISBN: 8750-7587
PMID: 17478603
DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01319.2006
Accession: 015541435

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Previous studies in healthy rats have demonstrated a deleterious bone impact of beta-agonist treatment. The purpose of this study was to examine the trabecular and cortical effects of beta(2)-agonists at doping dose on treadmill exercising rats with estrogen deficiency. Adult female rats were ovariectomized ( OVX; n = 44) or sham operated ( n = 12). Then, OVX rats received a subcutaneous injection of salbutamol ( SAB) or vehicle with ( EXE) or without treadmill exercise for 10 wk. Bone mineral density ( BMD) was analyzed by densitometry. Microcomputed tomography and histomorphometric analysis were performed to study trabecular bone structure and bone cell activities. After 10 wk, SAB rats presented a much more marked decrease of BMD and trabecular parameters. Exercise did not change the high level of bone resorption in OVX EXE SAB compared with OVX SAB group ( both on COOH-terminal collagen cross-links and osteoclast number). These results confirm the deleterious effect of beta(2)-agonists on bone quantity ( femoral BMD gain: OVX EXE, +6.8%, vs. OVX EXE SAB, -1.8%; P < 0.01) and quality ( -8.0% of femoral trabecular thickness in OVX EXE SAB vs. OVX EXE), indicating that SAB suppresses the effect of EXE in OVX rats. Furthermore, we notice that the slight beneficial effect of exercise was mainly localized in the tibia. These findings indicate the presence of a bone alteration threshold below which there is no more alteration in structural bone quantity and quality. The negative effects of SAB on bone observed in this study in trained rats may indicate potential complications in doping female athletes with exercise-induced amenorrhea.