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J Diabetes Complications. 2015 Apr;29(3):367-71. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2015.01.014. Epub 2015 Feb 7.

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor correlated with muscle strength in subjects undergoing stationary bicycle exercise training.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Taichung 404, Taiwan; School of Medicine, Tzu Chi University, Hualien 970, Taiwan; Center of General Education, National Taichung University of Science and Technology, Taichung 404, Taiwan; Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, TaichungVeterans General Hospital, Taichung 407, Taiwan.
Department of Food and Nutrition, Providence University, Taichung 433, Taiwan.
Cycling & Health Tech Industry R&D Center, Taichung 407, Taiwan.
Department of Medical Research, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung 407, Taiwan.
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, TaichungVeterans General Hospital, Taichung 407, Taiwan; School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 112, Taiwan; School of Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung 402, Taiwan. Electronic address:



Several central nervous disorders are associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS) and type 2 diabetes. Reduction in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is involved in the mechanism of central nervous dysfunction. BDNF is up-regulated after exercise, but it is not known whether increased BDNF is related to increases in muscle strength.


In the present study, subjects with MetS or type 2 diabetes were enrolled in an exercise program. All participants underwent an indoor bicycle exercise program for twelve weeks. Serum BDNF was determined after overnight fasting. Muscle strength was assessed by extension of the dominant lower extremity.


A total of 33 subjects were enrolled in this study. The body mass index did not change significantly (from 30.4±6.0 to 30.2±5.8kg/m(2), P=0.436), but serum BDNF increased significantly (from 17.1±9.1 to 24.2±10.7ng/mL, P<0.001) after the study. The exercise-associated BDNF was significantly correlated with the increased strength in lower-extremity extension test (r=0.54, P=0.001). Using multivariate regression analysis, muscle-strength increment, but not body-weight change, was an independent factor for serum BDNF (95% CI=0.009-0.044, P=0.005).


After a twelve-week program of stationary bicycle exercise, serum BDNF concentration increased, and this change was positively correlated with muscle strength of lower-extremity extension, but not body weight. (




Bicycle exercise; Body weight; Brain-derived neurotrophic factor; Metabolic syndrome; Muscle strength

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