Cross-sectional associations of objectively measured physical activity with brain-derived neurotrophic factor in adolescents

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Tao Huang
  • Anne Kær Gejl
  • Jakob Tarp
  • Lars Bo Andersen
  • Peijs, Lone
  • Anna Bugge

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between objectively measured physical activity and serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in adolescents.

METHODS: Cross-sectional analyses were performed using data from 415 adolescents who participated in the 2015 follow-up of the Childhood Health Activity and Motor Performance School Study Denmark (the CHAMPS-study DK). Physical activity was objectively measured by accelerometry monitors. Serum BDNF levels were analyzed using the Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Anthropometrics and pubertal status were measured using standardized procedures.

RESULTS: With adjustment for age, pubertal status and body mass index, mean physical activity (counts per minute) was negatively associated with serum BDNF in boys (P=0.013). Similarly, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was negatively associated with serum BDNF in boys (P=0.035). In girls, mean physical activity and MVPA were not associated with serum BDNF. Without adjustment for wear time, sedentary time was not associated with serum BDNF in either sex.

CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that higher physical activity is associated with lower serum BDNF in boys, but not in girls.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysiology & Behavior
Pages (from-to)87-91
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2017

    Research areas

  • Accelerometry, Adolescent, Anthropometry, Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor/blood, Cross-Sectional Studies, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Exercise/physiology, Female, Humans, Male, Motor Activity, Sedentary Lifestyle, Sexual Maturation/physiology

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