European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 111, Issue 2, pp 303–311 | Cite as

Association among basal serum BDNF, cardiorespiratory fitness and cardiovascular disease risk factors in untrained healthy Korean men

  • Seung Ho Jung
  • Jongkyu KimEmail author
  • J. Mark Davis
  • Steven N. Blair
  • Hyun-chul Cho
Original Article


Evidence suggests that serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (serum BDNF) can be affected by cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), but this relationship is far from clear. Recent reports show an inverse relationship between serum BDNF and CRF in healthy individuals, and other studies suggest a possible association between serum BDNF and cardiovascular disease. However, the possible interaction between serum BDNF, CRF, and cardiovascular disease risk has not been studied. The purpose of this study was to examine the association among serum BDNF, CRF, and cardiovascular disease risk factors in healthy men. The investigation involved a large sample of men (n = 995, age range: 20–76 years) who live in the central area of South Korea and were recruited into the Preventive Health Study. Our study showed a significant inverse relationship between serum BDNF and relative VO2max (r = −0.412, p < 0.0001) and heart rate reserve (r = −0.194, p < 0.0001). Serum BDNF was positively correlated with body mass index (r = 0.80, p < 0.0001), total cholesterol (r = 0.185, p < 0.0001), and triglyceride (r = 0.320, p < 0.0001). Our data suggest that serum BDNF may be associated with effects of increased CRF on cardiovascular disease. However, more research is clearly needed before a determination of whether, and to what extent, serum BDNF may be responsible for some of the health benefits associated with CRF.


VO2max Heart rate reserve Body mass index Brain-derived neurotrophic factor 



This work was supported by the Korea Research Foundation Grant from the Korean Government (KRF-2008-357-G00003).

Conflict of interest

We have no conflict of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seung Ho Jung
    • 1
  • Jongkyu Kim
    • 2
    Email author
  • J. Mark Davis
    • 1
  • Steven N. Blair
    • 2
  • Hyun-chul Cho
    • 3
  1. 1.Psychoneuroimmunology of Exercise and Nutrition Laboratory, Division of Applied Physiology, Department of Exercise ScienceArnold School of Public Health, University of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Division of Health Aspects of Physical Activity, Department of Exercise ScienceArnold School of Public Health, University of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  3. 3.Laboratory of Exercise Physiology, Department of Physical EducationCollege of Sports Sciences, Yong-in UniversityYongin-siRepublic of Korea

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