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Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2019 Apr;102:212-215. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2018.12.015. Epub 2018 Dec 14.

Serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) at rest and after acute aerobic exercise in major depressive disorder.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany; Department of Geriatrics, Krankenhaus Königin Elisabeth Herzberge, Berlin, Germany. Electronic address: g.kallies@keh-berlin.de.
2
Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany.
3
Department of Psychology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
4
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany; Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany.
5
Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany; Department of Psychology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany; Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
6
Department of Psychology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany; Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
7
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
8
Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

Physiological mechanisms of an anti-depressive effect of physical exercise in major depressive disorder (MDD) seem to involve alterations in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) level. However, previous studies which investigated this effect in a single bout of exercise, did not control for confounding peripheral factors that contribute to BDNF-alterations. Therefore, the underlying cause of exercise-induced BDNF-changes remains unclear. The current study aims to investigate serum BDNF (sBDNF)-changes due to a single-bout of graded aerobic exercise in a group of 30 outpatients with MDD, suggesting a more precise analysis method by taking plasma volume shift and number of platelets into account. Results show that exercise-induced increases in sBDNF remain significant (p < .001) when adjusting for plasma volume shift and controlling for number of platelets. The interaction of sBDNF change and number of platelets was also significant (p = .001) indicating larger sBDNF-increase in participants with smaller number of platelets. Thus, findings of this study suggest an involvement of peripheral as well as additional - possibly brain-derived - mechanisms explaining exercise-related BDNF release in MDD. For future studies in the field of exercise-related BDNF research, the importance of controlling for peripheral parameters is emphasized.

KEYWORDS:

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF); Major depressive disorder; Physical exercise; Platelets

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