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Does anabolic steroid treatment for in childhood proliferate new stem cells?

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Posted on Thu, 21 May 2015
Question: hello, I had a brief course of anabolic steroid treatment when i was 14.

I'm concerned about one area regarding this treatment. I discovered steroids can proliferate new stem cells, for example in the bone marrow. My concern is this newly formed stem cells (as a result of steroids) then went on to other parts of my body especially heart and brain and to differentiated into these organs' cells. And of course these organs are permanent and non renewing

Is this true statement, or am i just needlessly worrying?

Thanks and Best Regards
doctor
Answered by Dr. Diptanshu Das (26 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
You are indeed worrying needlessly

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for asking on HealthcareMagic.

Let me ascertain that you are needlessly worrying. The stress hormones, the sex hormones and certain other hormones that maintain the electrolyte balance of our body are vital substances all made of steroids. These are normal members of our physiological system and we cannot do a single day without them. There is a system of feedback that maintains a balance of these inherent steroids. When some steroid is given from outside, there are chances of this feedback system getting messed up and hence the fuss.

Apart from the vital functions, it has been newly discovered that they play a role in potentiating stem cells. But this too is a part of the vital process where cells die and cells regenerate. Although we do not have a vivid idea about the role on neurogenic stem cells, the actions would certainly be no more than normal physiology permits. So, there is no slightest reason for you to worry.

Regards
Dr. Diptanshu Das
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Diptanshu Das (1 hour later)
Thank you for answer,

I know it's normal, but my problem is that an exogenous agent contributed to this 'normal'

Now if normally it's contribution on cells is turned over then this make me feel ok about it all. It's when I discover things like non renewable tissue and stem cells - what if the steroid formed stem cells which then differentiated to these non renewable tissue (brain and heart) ?

Or have I got it misunderstood?

Kind Regards
doctor
Answered by Dr. Diptanshu Das (4 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
The effect would be insignificant

Detailed Answer:
You have misunderstood slightly.

Firstly, the contribution of the exogenous agent would practically be insignificant because with respect to your total duration of your life, the few days that the steroids were given, hardly count. Secondly, they do not do anything extraordinary. They simply augment what the endogenous ones are doing or supposed to do. So, they would not have any 'special' effects with respect to the tissues where regeneration does not occur.

Hope that helps.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Diptanshu Das (57 minutes later)
yes but when they augment what the endogonous ones are doing , new cells are formed which otherwise wouldnt have been there. Thus the steriods is responsible for these new cells.

What perplexes me, is how simple steroids can help form new cells and then these cells remain forever (non renewable tissue)
doctor
Answered by Dr. Diptanshu Das (22 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Understanding of the basic underlying science is essential

Detailed Answer:
Let me give you some background which will enable you to understand better.
* Early in our embyonic life, the adrenal glands originate as a neuroendocrine organ. In other words, the precursors are same as the ones from which nerve cells are produced. In response to certain brain hormones, the adrenals secrete the steroids which have specific functions related to vital functions or immunomodulation. The immune response is actually formed by generating tons of policing cells with specific functions. These cells generate from a less differentiated form of cells which we call mesenchymal stem cells which are the precursors of neurogenic stem cells. So, steroids have direct linkage to neural stem cells. Steroids have to keep these stem cells alive and active so that our immunity does not die out as we grow old.
* You must have heard about adrenaline which is a vital substance. It is actually a neurotransmitter poured directly into the blood. Adrenaline is secreted from the same adrenal glands from which the steroids are secreted.
* Going through the following links should enrich you further:
http://hsci.harvard.edu/news/stem-cell-performance-enhanced-steroids
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/0000
http://www.nature.com/cddis/journal/v5/n1/full/cddis0000a.html

I have elucidated as much as I could. Hope you have a better understanding now.

In case you found my answer to be helpful, I would request you to close the thread with a positive review and a 5 star rating.

Regards
Dr. Diptanshu Das
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Diptanshu Das (20 hours later)
Thanks Dr. XXXXXXX for all the valued advice,

What would be the longevity for stem cells of various tissues around our body? for example turnover rate?

Then i can be assured even if steroids proliferated stem cells they will possibly not be around right now if fast turnover rate.

Thanks and all my best
doctor
Answered by Dr. Diptanshu Das (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
The turnover rate is huge.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks again for writing back. But once again I find some inconsistency in the understanding of the underlying principles and hence I find it difficult to answer it once again.

Stem cells are like factories. These factories could give rise to other factories of equal capacity (undifferentiated), or they could give rise to products (differentiated cells) that need to be replaced. This generation process is what is meant by proliferation. The turnover rate is huge, in millions of cells per day. You have asked about the life of a factory. But in fact, the total mechanism remains valid irrespective of whether factories keep getting replaced by other newer factories or whether damaged products are replaced by fresh products. The cycle goes on. But as ageing continues, lesser number of replacement units are produced. In the entire process, there are so many determinants. Steroids is just one among them.

Sorry for being unable to be more precise. I do not understand what problem do you have about the if the steroids have a role to play in the production or replacement of the newer factories?

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Diptanshu Das (15 hours later)
Thanks Dr XXXXXXX ,

I have issue with the fact that steroids formed new stem cells within non-renewable organs such as brain and heart.

Because its possible the stem cell then differentiates into cells that will last lifetime. Hence in a way, steroid has had a permanent impact (via stem cell formation which differentiated) . is this accurate statement?

Thanks and all my best,
XXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Diptanshu Das (21 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Speaking in that sense, there is indeed a possibility

Detailed Answer:
Dear XXXXXXX

Pardon me for not being able to write back earlier.

Indeed there is accuracy in your statement. However, we do not have a full understanding of the same.

The following publications will clarify things for you.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC213498/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC0000/

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Diptanshu Das

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Does anabolic steroid treatment for in childhood proliferate new stem cells?

Brief Answer: You are indeed worrying needlessly Detailed Answer: Thanks for asking on HealthcareMagic. Let me ascertain that you are needlessly worrying. The stress hormones, the sex hormones and certain other hormones that maintain the electrolyte balance of our body are vital substances all made of steroids. These are normal members of our physiological system and we cannot do a single day without them. There is a system of feedback that maintains a balance of these inherent steroids. When some steroid is given from outside, there are chances of this feedback system getting messed up and hence the fuss. Apart from the vital functions, it has been newly discovered that they play a role in potentiating stem cells. But this too is a part of the vital process where cells die and cells regenerate. Although we do not have a vivid idea about the role on neurogenic stem cells, the actions would certainly be no more than normal physiology permits. So, there is no slightest reason for you to worry. Regards Dr. Diptanshu Das