Evidence for a release of BDNF from the brain during exercise

Copenhagen Muscle Research Centre, Denmark.
Experimental physiology (Impact Factor: 2.67). 09/2009; 94(10):1062-9. DOI: 10.1113/expphysiol.2009.048512
Source: PubMed


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has an important role in regulating maintenance, growth and survival of neurons. However, the main source of circulating BDNF in response to exercise is unknown. To identify whether the brain is a source of BDNF during exercise, eight volunteers rowed for 4 h while simultaneous blood samples were obtained from the radial artery and the internal jugular vein. To further identify putative cerebral region(s) responsible for BDNF release, mouse brains were dissected and analysed for BDNF mRNA expression following treadmill exercise. In humans, a BDNF release from the brain was observed at rest (P < 0.05), and increased two- to threefold during exercise (P < 0.05). Both at rest and during exercise, the brain contributed 70-80% of circulating BDNF, while that contribution decreased following 1 h of recovery. In mice, exercise induced a three- to fivefold increase in BDNF mRNA expression in the hippocampus and cortex, peaking 2 h after the termination of exercise. These results suggest that the brain is a major but not the sole contributor to circulating BDNF. Moreover, the importance of the cortex and hippocampus as a source for plasma BDNF becomes even more prominent in response to exercise.

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Available from: Peter Rasmussen, Dec 14, 2014
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    • "A number of sources for peripheral circulating BDNF have been suggested in the literature, including the brain (Rasmussen et al., 2009), platelets (Yamamoto and Gurney, 1990), vascular endothelial cells (Nakahashi et al., 2000), monocytes (Schulte-Herbruggen et al., 2005) and even muscle (Pedersen et al., 2009). In addition, the difference between arterial and internal jugular venous plasma BDNF has been demonstrated to reflect BDNF release from the brain during and following acute exercise (Rasmussen et al., 2009). In general, peripheral serum BDNF-levels are higher compared to plasma levels (which are assumed to be due to the contribution of platelets) (Cho et al., 2012; Gilder et al., 2014); however, there is not yet a consensus in the literature regarding the preferential use of serum or plasma when studying exerciseinduced changes in basal circulating BDNF-levels. "
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    ABSTRACT: BDNF is known to induce neuroplasticity and low circulating levels have been related to neuronal loss in older persons. Physical exercise is thought to trigger BDNF-induced neuroplasticity, but conflicting observations have been reported regarding the effects of resistance training on circulating BDNF in the elderly. These conflicting observations might reflect dose-and gender-specific differences. Fifty-six apparently healthy elderly (68±5years) participants were randomized to 12weeks of resistance training (3x/week) at either high-resistance (HIGH, 8Males, 10Females, 2x10-15 repetitions at 80%1RM), low-resistance (LOW, 9Males, 10Females, 1x80-100repetitions at 20%1RM), or mixed low-resistance (LOW+, 9Males, 10Females, 1x60repetitions at 20%1RM followed by 1x10-20repetitions at 40%1RM).Serum was collected for BDNF assay at baseline and after 12weeks (24h-48h after the last training). 12weeks of LOW+ exercise significantly increased BDNF levels in male (from 34.9±10.7ng/mL to 42.9±11.9ng/mL, time x group interaction p=0.013), but not in female participants. No significant change was observed in HIGH or LOW, neither in male nor female subjects. Our results show that only the mixed-low-resistance training program with a very high number of repetitions at a sufficiently high external resistance was able to increase circulating BDNF in older male participants. Training to volitional fatigue might be necessary to obtain optimal results. Additional studies are needed to unravel the underlying mechanisms, as well as to confirm the observed gender difference. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Experimental gerontology
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    • " of combined training types ( i . e . , physical before cognitive training or vice versa ) should be manipulated systematically . Temporal proximity and sequence may be decisive for a synergy effect of cognitive and physical training as training - induced neurotrophin up - regulation peaks after about 2 h and declines to baseline level afterward ( Rasmussen et al . , 2009 ) ."
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    ABSTRACT: Physical as well as cognitive training interventions improve specific cognitive functions but effects barely generalize on global cognition. Combined physical and cognitive training may overcome this shortcoming as physical training may facilitate the neuroplastic potential which, in turn, may be guided by cognitive training. This study aimed at investigating the benefits of combined training on global cognition while assessing the effect of training dosage and exploring the role of several potential effect modifiers. In this multi-center study, 322 older adults with or without neurocognitive disorders (NCDs) were allocated to a computerized, game-based, combined physical and cognitive training group (n = 237) or a passive control group (n = 85). Training group participants were allocated to different training dosages ranging from 24 to 110 potential sessions. In a pre-post-test design, global cognition was assessed by averaging standardized performance in working memory, episodic memory and executive function tests. The intervention group increased in global cognition compared to the control group, p = 0.002, Cohen's d = 0.31. Exploratory analysis revealed a trend for less benefits in participants with more severe NCD, p = 0.08 (cognitively healthy: d = 0.54; mild cognitive impairment: d = 0.19; dementia: d = 0.04). In participants without dementia, we found a dose-response effect of the potential number and of the completed number of training sessions on global cognition, p = 0.008 and p = 0.04, respectively. The results indicate that combined physical and cognitive training improves global cognition in a dose-responsive manner but these benefits may be less pronounced in older adults with more severe NCD. The long-lasting impact of combined training on the incidence and trajectory of NCDs in relation to its severity should be assessed in future long-term trials.
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    • "In humans, BDNF release from the brain was observed at rest which increased 2-to 3-fold during exercise (Rasmussen et al. 2009). During the rest as well as exercise, the brain contributed by 70–80% of the circulating BDNF, while this contribution decreased following one hour of recovery (Rasmussen et al. 2009). Babaei et al. (2014) have described lower basal serum BDNF in the athletes group compared to controls. "
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    ABSTRACT: Obesity management for achieving an effective weight loss includes dietary modification and exercise [resistance (strength), endurance (cardiovascular) or intervals training (high-intensity intermittent exercise)]. Regular exercise acutely increases fat oxidation, which induces loss of fat mass and increases energy expenditure. Moreover, it has a positive effect on the physical (improved insulin sensitivity, lipid profile, etc.) and mental health (mood, cognition, memory, sleep, etc.). Endocrine responses to muscle actions are affected by many factors, including the exercise muscle groups (lower and upper body), load/volume, time-under tension, and rest-period intervals between sets, training status, gender, and age. The aim of this review is to summarize, evaluate, and clarify the literature data focusing on the endocrine responses to different types of exercise, including the frequency, intensity, and type of movement with regard to the fat loss strategies. Many studies have investigated anabolic [growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), testosterone] and gluco- and appetite- regulatory (insulin, cortisol, ghrelin) hormone responses and adaptations of skeletal muscles to exercise. Muscle tissue is a critical endocrine organ, playing important role in the regulation of several physiological and metabolic events. Moreover, we are also describing the response of some other substances to exercise, such as myokines [irisin, apelin, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), myostatin, and fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21)]. It is proposed that reducing intra-abdominal fat mass and increasing cardiorespiratory fitness through improving nutritional quality, reducing sedentary behavior, and increase the participation in physical activity/exercise, might be associated with clinical benefits, sometimes even in the absence of weight loss.
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