: Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is essential for neurocognitive function. However, the regulatory role of BDNF in mediating the effect of exercise on vascular function have not been investigated. This study aims at establishing a plausible link between level of serum BDNF, FC, and vascular function in 181 young (age = 25.50 ± 9.1 years old) apparently healthy adults.Design and Method
: Fasting blood samples were drawn from antecubital veins of the participants into plain glass tubes while they were in sitting position to evaluate serum BDNF using ELISA. Mercury-in-silastic strain-gauge plethysmography was used to determine arterial function indices, blood flow and vascular resistance at rest and following 5 minutes of arterial ischemia. The 6MWD test was used to determine functional capacity, according to the American Thoracic Society Committee on Proficiency Standards for Clinical Pulmonary Function Laboratories guidelines. It was conducted in an enclosed corridor and on a flat ground and a circular track of 33 meter long. The walking course was demarcated with bright colored cones.Results
: The 6MWD correlated with BDNF (r = 0.3, p = 0.000), as well as with forearm blood inflow (r = 0.5, p = 0.000) and vascular resistance (r = −0.4, p = 0.000). Subsequent comparison showed that BDNF and blood inflow were greater (p < 0.05) while vascular resistance was less (p < 0.05) in the participants achieved longer 6MWD. Similarly, BDNF correlated with forearm blood inflow (r = 0.4, p = 0.000) and vascular resistance (r = −0.4, p = 0.000). Subsequent comparison showed improved vascular function (p < 0.05) in the participants with greater BDNF.Conclusions:
These findings might suggest that improved vascular function in individuals with greater FC is mediated, at least partially, by enhanced serum BDNF level.