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Muscleman

A Surprising Case of Shrinkage


Author(s)

Keith K. Schillo
Biology Department
SUNY College at Oneonta
schillkk@oneonta.edu

Abstract

This case is designed to help students develop a deeper understanding of negative feedback regulation. Basic principles of negative feedback systems are illustrated by focusing on the effects of anabolic steroids on the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular system. The use of these drugs in sports provides the context for the case. Specifically, the case provides basic information about the regulation of testicular function and then focuses on a side effect of anabolic steroid use; i.e., testicular atrophy. Students are required to develop hypotheses to explain this side effect and devise ways to test their hypotheses. They are also asked to think beyond the scope of the case and apply basic principles to explain other conditions affecting testicular function. The case is suitable for use in any physiology course and might also be useful for a core course in general biology.


Objectives

  • Recognize a negative feedback system.
  • Identify major components of a negative feedback system.
  • Explain the negative feedback regulation of LH and FSH release.
  • Apply the concept of negative feedback to analyze and explain a major side effect of anabolic steroid use.

Keywords

Anabolic steroids; endocrinology; homeostasis; negative feedback; testicular function

Topical Areas

Ethics, Scientific method, Social issues

Educational Level

High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, Graduate, Professional (degree program), Clinical education

Format

PDF

Type / Methods

Analysis (Issues), Directed, Discussion

Language

English

Subject Headings

Physiology  |   Biology (General)  |   Nutrition  |   Sports Science  |   Pharmacy / Pharmacology  |  


Date Posted

1/3/2012

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