The aim of the present study was to evaluate DNA damage (micronucleus) and cellular death (pyknosis, karyolysis and karyorrhexis) in exfoliated buccal mucosa cells from anabolic steroid users after 2 months of exposure. Two experimental groups consisting of 15 adult males who practise weight lifting and are anabolic steroid users or 15 adult males who practise weight lifting, but are non-anabolic steroid users, were recruited. In addition, 20 sedentary males, who do not practise any physical activity regularly, were matched by age with experimental groups. No significant statistical differences (p>0.05) were noticed in individuals who practise physical activity only. On the other hand, an increase of micronucleated cells (MNCs) in anabolic steroid (decadurabulin and Winstrol) users was observed. Regarding cytotoxic parameters, the same observation has occurred, that is, significant statistical differences (p<0.05) were noticed in the group exposed to anabolic steroids when compared with other controls, as depicted by high frequencies of pyknosis, karyolysis and karyorrhexis. Taken together, our results suggest that genomic instability and cytotoxicity are induced by anabolic steroid administration in oral mucosa cells as assessed by the micronucleus test.
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