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Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Feb;25(2):89-98. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2013.10.006. Epub 2013 Dec 19.

BDNF mediates adaptive brain and body responses to energetic challenges.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Neurosciences, National Institute on Aging Intramural Research Program, Baltimore, MD, USA.
2
Laboratory of Neurosciences, National Institute on Aging Intramural Research Program, Baltimore, MD, USA; Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Electronic address: mark.mattson@nih.gov.

Abstract

Emerging findings suggest that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) serves widespread roles in regulating energy homeostasis by controlling patterns of feeding and physical activity, and by modulating glucose metabolism in peripheral tissues. BDNF mediates the beneficial effects of energetic challenges such as vigorous exercise and fasting on cognition, mood, cardiovascular function, and on peripheral metabolism. By stimulating glucose transport and mitochondrial biogenesis BDNF bolsters cellular bioenergetics and protects neurons against injury and disease. By acting in the brain and periphery, BDNF increases insulin sensitivity and parasympathetic tone. Genetic factors, a 'couch potato' lifestyle, and chronic stress impair BDNF signaling, and this may contribute to the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome. Novel BDNF-focused interventions are being developed for obesity, diabetes, and neurological disorders.

KEYWORDS:

Alzheimer's disease; BDNF; diabetes; exercise; glucocorticoid; insulin resistance; learning and memory; obesity

PMID:
24361004
PMCID:
PMC3915771
DOI:
10.1016/j.tem.2013.10.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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