Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: cheaters, cheating, cycling, doping, genetic manipulation, hypoxia
Numerous physical, pharmacological and/or genetic strategies exist that simulate the effects of hypoxia at the molecular and cellular level and increase expression of hypoxia-induced genes such as hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF), its downstream targets such as erythropoietin (EPO) and consequently increase red blood cell production. While hypoxia was classically achieved by exposure to high altitude (hypobaric hypoxic exposure), there are currently numerous methodologies for achieving hypoxia-induced gene doping including chambers (normobaric hypoxia), chemicals and genetic manipulation. Our basic hypothesis is that exposure to different types of hypoxia lead to both a unique ‘molecular signature’ specific to the type of hypoxia as well as core ‘molecular signature’ irrespective of the type of hypoxia. Testing the ‘molecular signatures of hypoxia’ using blood samples from athletes will detect all the different forms (of physical, small molecule and gene-based) hypoxia-induced gene doping that are currently in use (or likely to be developed in the near future) with great sensitivity and specificity.